Dubai: Dubai has always been a happy hunting ground for former world number one Caroline Wozniacki. The Dane has won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships once, ended as runner-up on another occasion and entered the semi-finals four more times.
“This is one tournament that has always brought out the best in me,” Wozniacki told media after the draws were held on Saturday.
“I think there are several factors that contribute to my good form here. The fast courts suit my game, and I do get a lot of support from the Danish people living here,” she added.
A winner of 30 WTA singles titles, Wozniacki is also the first woman from a Scandinavian country to hold the top ranking position and 20th in the Open era. She finished on top of the rankings in both 2010 and 2011, till then not winning a single Grand Slam — the closest she came was a runner-up spot at the 2014 US Open.
In 2017, Wozniacki won the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore for the first time in her career and followed this up by claiming her maiden Grand Slam title at the 2018 Australian Open to silence her critics and return to No. 1 ranking at the end of January 2018.
“I think in general, it’s such an incredible feeling. Before my maiden Grand Slam title, I had achieved so much in the sport and basically everything else but to get there was definitely something very special. I know that whatever happens, I’ve got that. It’s definitely a proud moment for me,” Wozniacki admitted.
Wozniacki was excited to return to Melbourne last month as the defending champion, where her campaign was cut short by Maria Sharapova in third round. “It was an awesome experience. I was very proud of to be back in Australia as the defending champion, it was very special. Roger’s [Federer] and my photos were all over the place, which was really cool. It was just a very unique and awesome experience. I was very happy to get that. Obviously I wanted to play even further but it wasn’t to be, that’s what happens in sport sometimes,” she said.
The Dane believes that she can be counted as one of the favourites for the title in Dubai next Saturday. “It’s a strong field with a lot of great players here. So I’m just going to do my best and see how far that goes. I have a lot of confidence and I really enjoy playing on this court as it suits my game. I’ve been playing well here obviously and it’s great to be back,” she added.