NEW YORK (Reuters) - Boxing is one of top seed Caroline Wozniacki’s off-court interests and the 20-year-old Dane has exhibited a fighting spirit during her charge through the draw at the U.S. Open.
Wozniacki had to fight through near gale-force wins and a determined effort from Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia on Wednesday to advance to Friday’s semi-finals.
“Boxing, it’s just a different way for me to work out,” she told reporters after her 6-2 7-5 quarter-final victory.
“It’s fun, it’s interesting, and it’s great because I have this great coach who knows how to get me in good shape and what I need for my tennis, as well.”
Wozniacki, a surprise runner-up at last year’s U.S. Open, engages opponents in a war of attrition, matching her groundstroke consistency against theirs and counterpunching to great effect.
Conditioning is a key to her success.
“I wanted to try something different, something that was not the usual things. I just love the training. It’s great.
“It’s really hard not only physically, but also the conditioning. And, you know, it’s great to have a coach there also who just pushes you to the limit,” she said.
The Dane said the two sports promote some of the same skills.
“Fast arms, fast feet. Yeah, definitely, a lot of similarities,” said Wozniacki, who cited Denmark’s WBC super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler and former champion Joe Calzaghe of Britain as two of her favorites in the fight game.
Wozniacki, whose father emigrated from Poland to Denmark to play professional soccer and whose mother was a member of the Polish women’s volleyball team, also loves fashion and pays attention to details like whether her nail polish compliments her tennis ensemble and gear.
Once the game is on, however, she is ready to fight tooth and nail.
“I’m really competitive,” she said. “I really don’t like losing.”
Editing by Ian Ransom