Tennis-Cover girl Wozniacki airbrushed out of Wimbledon

Reuters

Wed, 27 Jun 19:56:00 2012

Caroline Wozniacki started the year on top of the world rankings and as the glamorous cover girl of women's tennis but on Wednesday a humiliating first-round defeat at Wimbledon completed her fall from grace.

A smouldering image of the Dane, dressed in black and with her blonde mane flying around her face, is plastered across the cover of this year's WTA guide with the strapline "Strong is Beautiful".

It is an honour she earned for finishing 2011 as the world's best women's player but on Wednesday, the ugly mistakes in her game could not be airbrushed away as she suffered her earliest loss at Wimbledon when she was humbled 5-7 7-6 6-4 by Tamira Paszek.

To add to her woes, seventh seed Wozniacki should have wrapped up the match in straight sets as she had two match points at 6-5 in the second, only to see the Austrian go for broke with some daredevil shots.

Paszek saved one with a forehand that grazed the baseline and then clipped the sideline on the second with a vicious backhand.

The 21-year-old Pazek, who could have represented a number of countries as her parents have links to Tanzania, Kenya, Canada and Chile, left Wozniacki all tongue-tied and befuddled in the third set as the Dane ran out of ideas and bowed out after three hours 12 minutes.

"(It) really sucks when you lose. Especially after having two match points and not taking them. It wasn't because I played badly. She just went for it, and that's it," a rather tetchy Wozniacki, who has yet to win one of the four majors, told reporters.

"I just need to move forward. You can't dwell in your past but move forward, look forward. That's it."

Asked what her plans were for moving forward, she replied: "To be honest, I haven't really thought about it."

While Pazek proved that her win at Eastbourne at the weekend was no fluke, Wozniacki was left to ponder yet another flop show as she has now gone 10 months without a title.

During that time, she has launched a women's underwear range and jetted around the world with her boyfriend Rory McIlroy, the 2011 U.S. Open golf champion.

If she was hoping to get tips from McIlroy on how to bounce back, she is unlikely to get much help as he has missed four cuts in his last five events and has also lost his own top ranking.

At least they will have common topics to talk about over their next romantic dinner date.

 

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