Today Caroline Wozniacki (picture ©Edwin Martinez) officially becomes number 1 in the WTA ranking. The Danish player, though she’s from a Polish family, made the last step she needed to reach the first position thanks to the results she achieved in the Beijing tournament – in fact there was a little celebration on court – but world ranking is updated at the start of every week so only today Serena Williams’ dethroning is registered in the official ranking.
This result from Wozniacki caused criticism from many people who think that she’s not worthy of the world throne for her not very brilliant play style and particularly because this year not only she won no Grand Slam titles but her best result in the four most prestigious tournaments has been the U.S. Open semifinal.
From various sources criticism has been renewed concerning the ranking system that in the last two years had also led Jelena Jankovic and Dinara Safina to the first position though they had won no Grand Slam tournaments.
Granted that each system can be perfected it’s true that inevitably the ranking awards the players with more wins. Grand Slam tournaments are the ones that award the greatest amount of points so they have the greatest influence on the ranking but they’re four tournaments within a very long season full of tournaments, even important, that overall award a lot of points.
The consequence of the system is that a player who achieves many good results can have an excellent ranking even with no wins in Grand Slam tournaments but is that such a bad thing? Obviously wins in Grand Slam tournaments are the ones that really define the champions but isn’t it right to award a player who consistently play at high levels throughout a whole season? On the other hand is it right that a player such as Serena Williams, who’s evidently willing to seriously play in Grand Slam tournaments only using the others for training, is awarded anyway with the first position in the ranking? Besides this year Serena Williams wasn’t able to play the U.S. Open and other tournaments due to an injury, otherwise she’d probably still be number one in the ranking.
Caroline Wozniacki is just twenty years old and she’s still a rising star: it’s easy to see that she varnishes her nails the same color as her underwear, it takes more attention to notice the improvements in her skills. The Danish is very strong in the defensive part of the game but during this year she improved her shots and now in many occasions she can be more aggressive than in the past. Even more important, she seems to have the right mindset to bear the pressure and keep on improving so it’s more likely that she stays at the top than Ivanovic, Jankovic and Safina, all former number one who didn’t last long.
Now we’ll have to see how much Serena Williams care for the first position in the ranking: if next year she’s going to take the WTA tour a little more seriously we’ll see who’s really number one and the other players certainly won’t just look. Right now though Caroline Wozniacki watches from above.