Tag Archives: Caroline Wozniacki

Whoopi Goldberg Invents, Inflames Issue: No Problem Between Caroline Wozniacki, Serena Williams

Caroline Wozniacki's Serena impersonation

Caroline Wozniacki’s Serena impersonation

The problem with people who talk and write for a living is that they always have to say something. Have to. It has to be loud, too, if they want to get hits online or ratings on TV. The formula? Inflame an issue quickly, then boil it down to sound bites that can be defined in clear, black-and-white, up-or-down points against the person sitting at the other side of the table.

They are always looking for something, anything, as jumping-off points to start a five-alarm fire. That’s how Caroline Wozniacki was set up Tuesday. She was the patsy in a bogus modern-media frenzy.

She innocently, jokingly impersonated her friend, Serena Williams, at a tennis exhibition in Brazil. She used a towel to pad her chest to cartoon levels, and another one to pad her rear end. It was possibly racially insensitive, or possibly just funny.

Did I mention race? That was the jumping-off point for Twitter, bloggers and even “The View.’’

Wozniacki was labeled a racist, and it went viral. International.

And it was unfair. Her little act was not racist. Insensitive, maybe, but not racist.

“You can make as much fun as you want to,’’ Whoopi Goldberg said on “The View.’’ “She’s still going to beat your ass.’’

Please read the rest of the column here at FoxSports.com

Dec. 12, 2102: Wozniacki mock-up of Serena not racist


U.S. OPEN: Will Tennis Survive After Serena Williams?

Reporting from the U.S. Open for FoxSports.com

Serena Williams

NEW YORK — The cliff is always there. The road is always going to end.

But the joy ride is just too fun to worry about it, or to do anything about it.

The Indianapolis Colts have been riding Peyton Manning for years, building everything around him. And now, suddenly, the cliff: He apparently has had neck fusion surgery and will miss the season. You’re reminded that at some point, sometime soon, the whole ride will end.

Should the Colts have done something before now to prepare?

Tiger Woods ran off the cliff, too. Golf was a thrill with him on top. Now golf is just golf again.

Serena Williams is driving perilously close to the cliff. Venus Williams, too. But Serena is so amazing in general that no one seems to notice how amazing her story has been these past two weeks at the US Open. Amazing is commonplace for her, expected.


Please read the rest of my column at FoxSports.com

WIMBLEDON: Desperate for a Leader, Women’s Tennis Getting Old, New Champion in Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova is about to win Wimbledon again, and take over women’s tennis. I wish I felt comfortable with how confidently I just put that.

But every sport needs someone on the mountaintop, someone you would say is the best, someone everyone wants to beat. Women’s tennis has no leader, and that’s not just about whether Caroline Wozniacki, ranked No. 1, is a real and deserving champ (She’s not).

No, this about the game not having someone that everyone either loves or hates, pulls for or against. Someone with star power, who is noticed when she walks into a room. Women’s tennis is a mish-mash. But in four days, Sharapova will change that, becoming the game’s new leader. Or maybe its old leader, renewed.

That’s what the game needs, and is going to get. I’m sure of it. Mostly.

It has been a good Wimbledon for women’s tennis, but not a great one. The game is thirsting for greatness, craving it. Missing it.

Continue reading

WIMBLEDON: Serena Williams or Kim Clijsters, Who had Better Comeback? Also, Wimby Grades, More on Court 2


Serena Williams

A few random thoughts and grades on Wimbledon.

Serena Williams is stealing the tournament. Her touching tears of joy after her first round followed by her complaints about being shoved to an outer court after her second round and then her complete domination in the third round, with this proclamation:

“Don’t bet against me.’’

The idea that this is an amazing comeback, after a year away with foot injury and then illness, is hard to argue with. But I always thought she was going to win the tournament anyway. She’s great. The rest of the tour is not. Two statements are being made here.

The question is this: Which is the more amazing comeback? Williams’ or Kim Clijsters?

Clijsters retired for a while, then had a baby, then came back. After two warmup tournaments, she won the U.S. Open. Williams had two surgeries, she said, for cut ligaments in her foot. Then, forced to sit around while she healed, blood clots formed and worked their way up into her lungs. She played one warmup tournament. Continue reading

WIMBLEDON WEEK: Quick Last-Second Hits. Can Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams Both Repeat?

Serena Williams in last year's Wimbledon final

A bunch of quick-hit thoughts on certain players going into Wimbledon:

Serena Williams: This might not even be that hard. Better beat her early, before she gets momentum. Only concern: When she has trouble catching her breath, will she be able to keep her mind off the blood clots? Prediction: Winner.

Rafael Nadal: This “clay court specialist’’ hasn’t lost a match at Wimbledon since 2007. Won’t this year, either.

Andy Roddick: Conflicting thoughts. Done winning majors; that’s an awfully nice draw. Last chance? (I’ve probably said that about him before).

Venus Williams: Didn’t look that great at Eastbourne. Kind of off-balance. Still good enough to make a deep run, though.

Roger Federer: The big-bashers who were pushing him backward aren’t doing well. He might have figured out Novak Djokovic. If Nadal loses before the final, this tournament could be his. If not, it’s not.

Caroline Wozniacki: Prove it already. Quarterfinals against Sharapova, good place to start. Prediction: Sharapova.

John Isner-Nicolas Mahut: Straight sets for Isner. But stop picking him as a darkhorse. If you can’t return serve, you can’t win Wimbledon.

Andy Murray: Tabloid fodder. Continue reading

WIMBLEDON WEEK: Caroline Wozniacki Crashes Novak Djokovic’ Press Conference, asks about 1-Match Slump


Djokovic, Wozniacki


Novak Djokovic has lost one match all year. One. True, it was his most recent one, to Roger Federer at the French Open. So leave it to the typical, negative media to come to his pre-Wimbledon press conference asking about his one-match losing streak.

“Novak, I’m sorry if you’ve been asked this question before, since I’m a bit late,’’ the reporter said.

“Where are you from?’’ he asked.

“I am from the Monaco newspaper on Avenue Princess Grace.’’

“Oh, OK,’’ Djokovic said. “I’ll be glad to answer.’’

“You know, you had this little losing streak of one, so what are you going to do to change that.’’

The reporter was Caroline Wozniacki, who popped in during Djokovic’ press conference Saturday and started asking questions. She and Djokovic are neighbors in Monaco. Djokovic likes to joke around pretty much everywhere. Wozniacki made up some strange story in her Australian Open press conferences about being attacked by a kangaroo, then showed up at a later press conference with boxing gloves and a balloon-kangaroo.

No one said they were the best comedians. But as far as comedians go, they are the best tennis players in the world. And for your typical tennis player, they are laugh riots. Here’s how the interview went after Wozniacki’s question about Djokovic’ losing streak.

“Well, you know what?  I will try to look up to some women players who have been so consistent with their wins, for example like Caroline Wozniacki,’’ Djokovic said. “I don’t know if you’ve heard about her.  She’s been winning so much.  She’s become a role model for all of us ATP players.  So I’m going to try to look (at) some of her matches and try to break this losing streak of one, you know, try to get on the right path.’’

Wozniacki: “So who is your favorite women’s tennis player?  Is that her, as well?’’

Djokovic: “Well, we’ll have to keep that a secret.’’

Wozniacki: “Oh, c’mon.’’

Djokovic: “I think I already discovered one of my favorite women’s players.  I just said her name.  She’s actually my neighbor, as well.’’

Wozniacki: “Really?

Djokovic: “She actually lives in the street where you come from.’’

Wozniacki: “Oh, really?

Djokovic: “Yes. From time to time we have coffee there on the beach and just relax and have lunch, have a jog.

Wozniacki: “I’m sure she must be a really, really nice girl.’’

Djokovic: “She is a really, really nice girl.  She’s a great entertainer; No. 1.  You never heard about her?’’

Wozniacki: “The No. 1 actually drinks coffee on the beach with someone who actually almost never lose a match?’’

Djokovic: “Yes. That’s a winning ‑‑  excuse me. . .’’

Wozniacki: “I cannot even talk anymore.  They’re pulling me.’’

Djokovic: “Yeah, I know.  Monaco press is very popular nowadays.

Wozniacki: “Monaco press is unbelievable.’’

Djokovic: “You see.  This is what I’m talking about.’’



FRENCH OPEN: Caroline Wozniacki Loses Big to Career Choker, Daniela Hantuchova. Could This Start the Fall of Another No. 1?

Caroline Wozniacki loses at French Open

At least Caroline Wozniacki didn’t start crying on the court and openly, loudly, asking why she’s such a chicken. That’s what Dinara Safina did a few years ago, in her classic No. 1 women’s tennis meltdown.

We’ve seen all sorts of No. 1 players on the women’s tour get to the top and then just blow away like a leaf in the wind. Wozniacki, the current No. 1, lost to career choker Daniela Hantuchova 6-1, 6-3 Friday in the third round of the French Open. It was another embarrassing moment for women’s tennis, but more importantly, I wonder if this was the beginning of the fall of Wozniacki.

It’s not that she lacks mental fortitude like Safina. Or Ana Ivanovic. Or Jelena Jankovic. The problem with her is her game. And I’ve gone into it enough times in this space that I won’t spend much time on it now. But she’s way too passive, and doesn’t go out and take anything. She won’t lose to you, but will let you beat her if you are strong enough mentally to bash several shots on the court in a row. That has worked for her, except in majors, because of the nervousness throughout the women’s tour.

But the pressure on other players going against Wozniacki has just dropped for good. She lost her mystique with this match. If Hantuchova can hold it together against her for two sets in a major, then anyone can.

First set: Zero winners. What’s to be afraid of, anyway?

Women’s tennis has a problem. A sport needs to have a champion, someone who is best. Instead, this sport now has a void. A computer has to spit out a name, so it will still say Wozniacki. But she still hasn’t won a major. Serena Williams was best a year ago when she left, but who knows now? And she doesn’t play enough. Kim Clijsters has won the past two majors, so maybe she’s best, but her collapse to a nobody on Wednesday suggests her focus might be slipping, and her future short.

We’re still learning about Wozniacki. She tried to become more aggressive in the second set, even drilling a forehand right at Hantuchova once and knocking her off the baseline. Wozniacki came to net a few times, too, but didn’t seem to know how to get there. She tried to do more with her serve. And she hit eight winners in the set.

Give her credit for trying to adjust. It was still awfully passive to count as “aggressive,’’ though, and she also wasn’t very good at it. But this was a disturbing quote from her afterward: “She knew what she was going to do, and she was too good.’’ Continue reading

Kim Clijsters Tears Ankle Ligament While Dancing. It’s Caroline Wozniacki’s Tour now. Is She Ready?

Caroline Wozniacki after winning Sunday

We’ve probably seen the end of Kim Clijsters, who tore ligaments and severely sprained her right ankle over the weekend while dancing at a wedding. She had been looking for an out again anyway, just hanging around for next year’s Olympics.

We’ve seen the end of Justine Henin, who retired again in January, blaming an injury.

And I wonder if we’ve gotten all we’ll get from Serena Williams, too. She has been out for almost a year, first with a mysterious foot injury and – in my opinion – lack of interest. Now, she deals with a blood clot in her lungs.

Clijsters was the news of the day, overshadowing another tournament win by Caroline Wozniacki, who continues as No. 1 even though no one thinks she’s the best. She beat Elena Vesnina 6-2, 6-3 to win the Family Circle Cup.

But what happened when Clijsters got hurt was this: The deck instantly reshuffled on the women’s tour. The game has lost all willing and able champions.

Now, women’s tennis belongs to Wozniacki. Is she ready?

Continue reading

In 48 Hours, Everything Changed. Remember Tennis’ Old Days, like Wednesday?

From my column on AOL Fanhouse

MELBOURNE, Australia — The best transitions in sports happen naturally, and by process. A star player gets old, and the next guy slowly overtakes him and becomes the top dog. It happens with teams, too.

And fans have a chance to adjust, get used to the new order.

Tennis is in a transition stage, too. But on Wednesday, it wasn’t. Things are happening a little too fast for tennis’ own good.

“From a personal point of view,” Andy Murray said, “I would rather be in the final than watching Roger and Rafa at home, playing again.”

Murray had just beaten David Ferrer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) Friday to advance to the final of the Australian Open. He’ll play Novak Djokovic on Sunday for the year’s first major.

Roger and Rafa — Federer and Nadal — is your regularly scheduled program for major finals. At least one of them, anyway. And this is part of the change.

Just 48 hours ago, the Federer-Nadal rivalry was as solid as ever. Federer had re-established himself over the past few months on that top tier. Nadal was going for the Rafa Slam, winning all four majors in a row.

On the women’s side, while we wait for Serena Williams to recover, Kim Clijsters was dominating the tour. Justine Henin, one of the all-time greats, was struggling some in her comeback with a sore elbow.

Blink. Continue reading

Li, Wozniacki: Which One Sells Best for Tennis?

From my column on AOL Fanhouse

Li Na is not going to sell. Let’s just cut right to it. If that’s sexist, xenophobic, whatever. She has all the personality and color and warmth in the world, but she speaks broken English and doesn’t have drop dead good looks. In the U.S., that stuff is mandatory. She is not going to sell women’s tennis under any circumstances.
Caroline Wozniacki might. She is clearly trying to be the next Maria Sharapova. She is No. 1, and pushes her good looks and blond hair and short skirts. She’s just 20 years old, and has a chance to lead women’s tennis for years, but she still has to prove she belongs at the top.

That’s what Thursday’s semifinal at the Australian Open was about. Different marketing hopes from different hemispheres. Li won, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 to become the first person from China to advance to a major final. She’ll play Kim Clijsters on Saturday.

And after the match, Li climbed right into every tennis fan’s heart with her smile and wit. She said she couldn’t sleep the night before the because her husband snored so loud.

“I think today,” she said, “he can stay in the bathroom.”

But did I get that right? Did tennis need Wozniacki? It seems that way to me, but there is another side of the world to consider. Continue reading