Wozniacki brims with confidence heading into Open

Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:19pm EDT
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A month of intense competition that has reaped three titles in three countries has given Caroline Wozniacki the confidence she needs to land her first grand slam title at the U.S. Open starting on Monday.

Wozniacki made the final at Flushing Meadows last year, losing to the more experienced Belgian Kim Clijsters, but believes she is in much better shape this time.

"The last two weeks, or actually four weeks, have been great for me. I've been winning a lot of matches so that's definitely something that brings up the confidence," the Dane told a news conference on Sunday.

"I'm feeling really good. It's tough to compare myself to one year ago...but I definitely think that I've improved in many aspects."

The 20-year-old has climbed to number two in the world rankings and has been promoted to top seed for the U.S. Open after the withdrawal of Serena Williams with a foot injury.

Wozniacki, who starts against American Chelsey Gullickson, is in great form after a punishing month of tournaments highlighted by winning the Danish Open and back-to-back titles in Montreal and New Haven.

"After Wimbledon I had five weeks off where I didn't play anything and just practised, so that was a great feeling for me to get back on the match court and back in the match intensity," she said.

By winning in Montreal on Monday then New Haven on Saturday, Wozniacki ensured she finished the U.S. hardcourt series as the leading pointscorer and if she wins the U.S. Open she will pocket a $1 million cash bonus.   Continued...

<p>Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki returns a serve against Belarusian Victoria Azarenka during their tennis match at the Memphis International in Tennessee February 21, 2009. Azarenka defeated Wozniaki to win the championship. REUTERS/Nikki Boertman</p>