Caroline Wozniacki looking good in quest for maiden grand slam title
Caroline Wozniacki has high hopes of finally silencing all her critics by winning a maiden grand slam title in 2013.
Last Updated: 19/03/13 9:10pm
The Danish star has grown used to the harsh glare of publicity that comes with reigning as world number one for a total of 67 weeks without managing to claim her maiden grand slam title.
While her success in lesser tournaments helped keep her ahead of her rivals, Wozniacki's consistent failure to break through in the majors often came to be held up as an example of all that was wrong with the women's game.
The respective revivals of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova finally sent Wozniacki toppling from her summit, and a number of high-profile defeats towards the tail-end of 2012 suggested there would be no way back for the Dane.
Her descent was so sharp she even dropped out of the world top 10 after losing in the first round of the US Open to Romania's world number 96 Irina-Camelia Begu, hampered by a right knee injury.
But Wozniacki's start to 2013 has brought plenty of encouragement, a feeling heightened by her performance at Indian Wells last week, where she staged a superb semi-final comeback to beat Angelique Kerber and reach the final, where she lost to Sharapova.
"I have felt very good all year about my game," said Wozniacki. "I have to be happy at reaching the final. I've been playing some really good tennis and I've been fighting.
"I've been having to think a lot and I'm pleased with that."
Critics may point out that Wozniacki made the final courtesy of a quarter-final walkover against the injured Victoria Azarenka, one of those players who stepped up to show the Dane how grand slam victories are done.
But it remains a rightful source of hope for Wozniacki that she can continue to climb back towards the top in the long season ahead, and push to go one better than her solitary major final appearance in the 2009 US Open, when she lost to Kim Clijsters.
"I don't really have a target," she added. "As long as I'm healthy and playing on a high level that I've shown this week, I think I have a bright year in front of me. But it's a long year and there's a lot of matches to be played.
"I think everybody is doing something a little better than they did two years ago, because the level of women's tennis is always rising.
"There are new standards for the game. You always need to improve things to be able to keep up."