FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – One is a three-time Grand Slam Champion. She is a statuesque model on the court, who uses her power game to her advantage. A daughter of immigrants, who keeps her ancestry close to her hear, someone who is proud to be a foreigner in a foreign county. If she wasn’t a tennis player, she would be modeling in Milan or Paris.
The other was the runner-up in last year’s US Open and the No. 1 seeded player in the tournament. Her smile outshines her beauty on the court and uses her speed to break down her opponents. She is also a daughter of immigrants, but has embraced her new country as her own. If she wasn’t a tennis player, she would be a morning show personality or a weather girl.
The differences between Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki are clear cut. Yes, they may be the two most beautiful women in the tournament and when they face-off in the fourth round on Monday, it may be the true championship of this tournament, as both women may be on their hottest streaks of their careers.
“At the moment I’m feeling happy,” said Wozniacki who is now 18-1 since Wimbledon, after she disposed of Yung-Jan Chan, 6-1 6-0. “I’m happy to be out there. I’m happy to play, I’m happy to be fit, and that’s the most important thing. I’ve really been practicing hard, and it’s giving me the results I want.”
Not to be outdone, Sharapova has won 12 out of 14 matches since the British championship. She is playing her best tennis since her shoulder injury in 2008 and maybe since she won the US Open back in 2006. Today she dispelled the Cinderella story of Beatrice Capra, 6-0 6-0 , almost a year to the day of getting knocked out by last year’s upstart Melanie Oudin.
“This was a new day,” said Sharapova. “And what happened last year, you know, I didn’t really want to go into the match thinking about it. Obviously I had lost the match and made way too many unforced errors. On a day like today, I just wanted to make sure I was consistent and did the right thing, and, you know, maybe didn’t go for the lines as much and just played smart tennis.”
So now both Sharapova and Wozniacki will have a titan matchup. They have only met twice (both back in 2008) with the 23 year-old Russian holding a 2-0 edge. And this fourth rounder will be a showcase of Russian’s power versus the Dane’s speed with Wozniacki catching up to as many balls on the baseline trying to force the aggressive Sharapova to make errors.
“She can run all day and get a lot of balls back and make you hit tons of balls,” Sharapova said. “She changes the pace really well, and gets her opponents off-balance. She does many things well, you know. That’s why she’s at the top of the game.”
Although Serena Williams is the No. 1 woman in the world, Wozniacki can claim that title with a win on Monday, especially after Jelena Jankovic out of the tournament. The 20 year-old will have her toughest fight of the summer against her Russian opponent, because of her mental toughness and ability to break down opponents.
“I think we’re different players,” Wozniacki said. “I feel like I’m maybe moving a bit better. I don’t know. I’m placing the balls better a little bit, but she’s maybe hitting the balls harder.
“I don’t know. You know, she has won Grand Slams; I haven’t. Yeah, I don’t know. It’s tough. I think it’s up to you guys [the media] to find out what you think.”
Prediction: Wozniacki In Three Sets