NEW YORK (Reuters) - As a child, Caroline Wozniacki dreamt of being Anna Kournikova, one of the most photographed players on tour. Now, the 20-year-old just wants to win.
The top-seeded Dane, U.S. Open runner-up last year, crushed Chan Yung-Jan of Taiwan 6-1 6-0 on Saturday to reach the fourth round of the U.S. Open and extend her winning streak to 12.
Wozniacki takes on former champion Maria Sharapova in the last 16 and while she has enormous respect for the former world number one, it was another Russian who had caught her eye most when she was learning the game.
“To be honest, Kournikova was always for me the girl that I wanted to be like, definitely,” Wozniacki said. “I thought she was very pretty and she was handling everything really nicely. You saw her everywhere in the commercials. I think I would more go for Kournikova.”
Gusting winds made play comical at times but Wozniacki was all business as she wrapped up victory over Chan in 73 minutes to move into round four losing just three games along the way.
The pair exchanged service breaks in the opening two games but from then on it was all Wozniacki as she cruised to a third straight one-sided victory at Flushing Meadows.
With world number one Serena Williams sitting out with a foot injury, Wozniacki was promoted to top seed. While some have questioned her being at the top of the draw, the Dane said she felt she deserved it.
”I think I’ve shown I belong where I am,“ she said. ”I‘m just happy to be through to the fourth round.
“For me, it’s just about winning the matches. I think it’s up to everyone else to judge what I’ve shown or not shown.”
The Dane has lost both her matches with Sharapova but they came in 2008, long before she hit her career-high world ranking of number two earlier this year.
She said she knew what to expect from the Russian but would need to be on top of her game to reach the last eight at Flushing Meadows.
“I need to be ready because she’s going to try to attack from the first ball, and I need to be fast,” she said. “If I feel like an aggressive style of play is the way to play, then I‘m going to do that. If I feel like I need to be consistent and stay back, that’s what I‘m going to do.”
Editing by Frank Pingue