World No.2 Caroline Wozniacki says she is looking to “end the year on a good note” as she continues her swing through Asia for the next week in Beijing.
The Australian Open champion, who has struggled to fire since breaking through for her first Grand Slam trophy, opens her China Open campaign against former top-10 player Belinda Bencic and hopes a strong run will cement her place in the WTA Finals field.
Wozniacki arrives in the Chinese capital following a opening-round loss in Tokyo to Camila Giorgi and defeat to Monica Puig in Wuhan’s last 16.
“I think last week it was kind of a little bit of a struggle for everybody but I think we’re going into this event and trying to do better. It’s the end of the year and it’s all about just trying to focus and just trying to do your best,” Wozniacki said.
“I think I just try and stay focused and try and keep my head down and think about trying to qualify for Singapore – that’s really all I can do.
“At this point of the season, it’s more about playing on your routine, and playing on your belief, and staying positive, and fighting, and giving all you have.”
— Jimmie48 Photography (@JJlovesTennis) September 29, 2018
This time last year, Wozniacki was flying.
The Dane won the trophy in Tokyo in her seventh final of 2017 and then went on to win the WTA Finals in what was then her biggest-ever tournament title. That was until she flew to Australia to begin the 2018 season and went one better, claiming her first Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park.
It propelled her back to world No.1 and marked the end of a magnificent 12-month during which she won 66 matches.
Yet the wins haven’t flowed as regularly since. Wozniacki has reached just one final after her Australian success – in Eastbourne, where she won the trophy – and she is currently fifth in the Race to Singapore.
She is less than 500 points clear of the ninth-placed Kiki Bertens.
“I think winning the Australian Open was incredible and I’m very proud of it. And I would not switch that for anything this year,” she said.
“I don’t know (if I’m feeling drained since that high). I think you just go through ups and downs during your career and I think it’s definitely not always smooth sailing, but I think everyone is tired sometimes and everyone goes through periods they’re struggling a little bit.
“But at the same time I feel fine and I’m just trying to end the year on a good note.
“Everyone just wants to qualify for Singapore and then play there and then go on vacation. And be able to relax a little bit – I think that’s kind of the goal. Qualify for Singapore, play well there, finish off the season strong, and then call it a year. And then regroup and get ready for Australia.”
13 July 2019
Roger Federer scored a four-set triumph over long-time rival Rafael Nadal on Friday to pro... More
16 February 2017
In the first part of our series analysing the similarities and differences between men's ... More
7 December 2017
After calling time on his 2017 season with an elbow injury in July, Novak Djokovic is look... More