Six years have passed since Caroline Wozniacki was last ranked world No.1 but the Danish star is daring to dream once more of scaling the summit with a deep Australian Open run.
The 27-year-old has arrived at Melbourne Park as one of the top contenders after a stunning revival over the past 18 months.
Twice runner-up at the US Open, Wozniacki arrived at Flushing Meadows in 2016 ranked No.74 in the world.
She has since clawed her way back to the No.2 ranking after claiming her first WTA Finals crown last October and reaching the final of last week’s Auckland Open.
A strong run at Melbourne Park could result in the 2011 semifinalist leapfrogging Simona Halep to reclaim top spot.
Should she manage to do that, Wozniacki would break the record held by Serena Williams for the longest gap between stints at No.1.
“I think it is something that would always be special and really awesome,” Wozniacki said on Saturday.
“At the same time, you know, I’m just doing what I can do. I’m just playing here right now. That’s what I’m focusing on. Everything else will kind of fall into place.
“If I do it, that would be amazing. If I don’t, it’s still great.
“I’ve been there before, so it’s not like it’s something I haven’t done. It’s a little different, I suppose, this time around.”
While the Dane’s recent form has been undeniable, it’s yet to be seen whether an elusive maiden Grand Slam title is within her reach.
A perennial contender, Wozniacki is as well-placed as anyone to capitalise on the withdrawal of superstars Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
But she was giving little thought to the wide open nature of this year’s draw, insisting she hadn’t looked further beyond first round adversary Mihaela Buzarnescu, who reached the Hobart International final on Saturday.
“She’s not an easy player,” Wozniacki said of her Romanian opponent.
“She’s a tricky player, been playing well. She’s a lefty, tries to mix up the pace a little bit.
“So it’s not easy, but I’m just going to go out there and do my thing.”
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