FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – In the squared circle, boxers knew Mike Tyson was mean and Mohammed Ali would talk their ears off, right before making them into cauliflower.
Yet, it’s tough to see Caroline Wozniacki in that position. She looks so nice on the outside that it’s hard to see the tiger raging within.
Actually, though, look closely on the court and there’s a bit of Ali’s technician and Tyson’s fire in that’s beautiful blonde body. And maybe that’s why she feels as comfortable in the boxing ring, as she does on the tennis court.
“Boxing, it’s just a different way for me to work out,” Wozniacki said. “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.
“Yeah, 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.”
Dominika Cibulkova learned that the hard way today as she was swept out of the Open by Wozniacki, 6-2 7-5. It was the No. 1 seeds 20th win since Wimbledon as she improved her record to 20-1.
Although this may have been her toughest match to date in Flushing Meadows, the 20 year-old still seemed to have a pretty easy time. That is of course with the exception of this year’s Open nemesis, the heavy swirling winds of Arthur Ashe.
“It was really difficult to play today,” she said. “It was very windy, and from one side you barely hit it and the ball was flying, and from the other side you had to really hit through because the ball didn’t go anywhere. “So it was tough, but it was the same for both of us.”
Much like every good fighter, Wozniacki endured and even fought for the tough points. In fact, the chair umpire saw some of the toughness come out as the tournament’s top player gave her an earful on a replayed point.
“I’m really competitive,” she said. “I really don’t like losing, and, you know, when I’m on court I’m just thinking about the next point and the match that I want to win. I’m focused on that.”
So now Wozniacki will move onto the Semifinals against Vera Zvonareva, someone the rising star knows very well and calls it “definitely a tough match. I mean, she’s a really good ‑‑ she’s playing really well at the moment. She’s playing aggressively, hitting through the ball.”
That will be on Friday. So maybe with tomorrow off, Wozniacki will go back into the squared and score a boxing knockout.
Or maybe not.
“I’m a good girl,” she said. “I don’t do those things.”
No, only on the court. Look out Vera.