Woz­ni­acki says she is in the form of her life

Sport360 - - Australian Open - By Staff Re­porter @Sport360 ed­i­to­rial@sport360.com

A con­fi­dent Caro­line Woz­ni­acki de­clared yes­ter­day she was in the form of her life as she tar­gets a first Grand Slam ti­tle when the Aus­tralian Open be­gins.

The Dane first rose to world No1 eight years ago and is back rid­ing high at No2 af­ter a 2017 sea­son in which she reached eight fi­nals and won the sea­son-end­ing Tour Championship.

“I think I’ve im­proved ev­ery­thing (since first be­com­ing No1),” Woz­ni­acki said at Mel­bourne Park.

“I think noth­ing very dras­tic, but at the same time it’s small im­prove­ments all the time. That’s also what

“I’m healthy. I’m just go­ing to en­joy that, see where it takes me” – Woz­ni­acki

makes ten­nis fun. You’re never per­fect. There’s al­ways things you can work on.”

And she claimed she felt no ex­tra pres­sure to win a first Grand Slam, de­spite ris­ing ex­pec­ta­tions with de­fend­ing cham­pion Ser­ena Wil­liams ruled out af­ter the birth of her first child.

“I don’t put more, I don’t put less pres­sure. It’s just the same. It’s a new tour­na­ment, a new year.

“I’m healthy. I have the op­por­tu­nity to play here. I’m just go­ing to en­joy that, see where it takes me.”

“I never look at the draw. There’s al­ways so many great play­ers in the draw. For me, it’s all about just fo­cus­ing on my­self, tak­ing it one match at a time.

“I only know my first-round op­po­nent, and that’s how I like it, how I like to keep it. Then we fo­cus from there.”

Woz­ni­acki faces Ro­ma­nia’s world No57 Mi­haela Buzarnescu in the first round.

Mean­while, US Open cham­pion Sloane Stephens weighed into the sim­mer­ing row about Mel­bourne Park’s Mar­garet Court Arena.

Amer­i­can leg­end Bil­lie Jean King called for the show court to be re­named be­cause of the Aus­tralian great’s di­vi­sive views on gen­der equal­ity.

“I re­spect what Bil­lie Jean said,” Stephens said. “Well, I re­spect all of my fel­low play­ers, col­leagues, their life­styles. I don’t think there should be hate to­wards any­one,” added the Amer­i­can.

“I love ... ev­ery­one that I play with on a day-to-day ba­sis. I sup­port what­ever it is they want to do and how they want to live.”

Fir­ing on all cylin­ders: Woz­ni­acki is look­ing to win her mai­den Grand Slam.

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