Years from now, Caroline Wozniacki will be the answer to a great trivia question.
Who won the first match at the New Grandstand?
Well, Wozniacki of course. And after the year, she had, the Great Dane, will take it.
It hasn’t been an easy 2016 for Wozniacki. A left arm injury forced her out of a number of matches this summer and her game was just off.
She lost in the first round in Wimbledon to Svetlana Kuznetsova and fell out of the Top 50 in the world for the first time, since she was a teenager at the 2008 Australian Open.
So maybe, she could use a break or two.
And today, one came. By christening the New Grandstand Stadium with a three set win, 4-6 6-3 6-4, over American Taylor Townsend, she’s finally back on the winning track.
“I thought it was really difficult with her lefty spin serves,” Wozniacki said. “I would like to think I was one of the better returners and scorers. Today, that did not show and that was frustrating.”
What made it even more difficult was that Wozniacki was playing here first match on the shiny new court. Sure it’s gorgeous for the fans, but the players will need to get used to it.
And since this court is replacing one of her favorite courts, well that’s kind of tough too.
“I used to love the Old Grandstand, so when I heard they were tearing it down,” she said, “it was not going to be a match court anymore, I was sad, because it was one of my favorite courts. The intimacy of the court and the people were so close it was such a great atmosphere.”
So after lighting a candle for the old stadium, Wozniacki had some work to do, especially working with a new facility.
“I walked in today and I thought it was cool,” she said. “The crowd was nice and I mean I think it’s a big upgrade. It’s a beautiful court. I loved it.”
Winning helps too and that’s what the 26 year-old hopes to do this Open. Today, she lives to play another day.
Besides trying to get back on track, she also is in the midst of a coaching change too. In April she started working with Czech coach David Kotyza, because the instructor needed to spend time with his three-year old son.
So she is back with her dad as coach, like she did a number of times in the past.
And maybe that familiarity will bring some success, as does playing in Flushing Meadows, where Wozniacki was the Woman’s Runner up twice in her career. In fact, she loves New York so much; she lives in Manhattan different times during the year.
So, even though, she is from Denmark, she is also home. She is very popular here in New York and even though Townsend is an American, Wozniacki also got support from the partisan patrons.
“I always felt at home here,” Wozniacki said. “I love this event and it feels so good to be able to stay at home, cook and chill at nights. I was really happy they were cheering for me at this point.”
They still love here and if she gets her game back, they will love her even more.
And now, she will always be remembered.