Wozniacki ready to take the next step at U.S. Open

Tue Sep 7, 2010 7:48am EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A year older and a year wiser, 20-year-old Caroline Wozniacki served notice Monday she could go one step further at Flushing Meadows, which would bring the Dane a U.S. Open title for her first grand slam triumph.

Top-seeded Wozniacki, surprise runner-up to Kim Clijsters at last year's Open, defeated former champion Maria Sharapova 6-3 6-4 Monday to reach the quarter-finals, holding her nerve against the pressure brought by the power-hitting Russian.

Wozniacki benefited from 36 unforced errors from the 14th seed, including nine damaging double faults, but she took credit for drawing mistakes from the three-time slam winner.

"I was playing good tennis. I felt like I was playing well out there. I made her do those errors and I'm really happy to be through and that I won this match," Wozniacki said.

Wozniacki has followed her impressive 2009 season with an even better campaign this year.

She has won four tournaments in 2010, posted a 15-1 record since Wimbledon and before Monday's match had lost only three games total from her first three Open victories.

"I definitely think I've improved a lot, not only physically, but also I believe in myself more. I believe I can do it," she said. "Also I think I can mix up my game a little bit more than I could last year."

A U.S. Open victory would vault her past American Serena Williams, missing this championship because of a foot injury, and into the world number one ranking.   Continued...

<p>Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark celebrates her victory against Maria Sharapova of Russia at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 6, 2010. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz</p>