Sunshine Packs A Punch

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Tennis is not the only sport Caroline Wozniacki excels at. The No. 1 seed also plays other games to keep fit.

One is in the squared circle, where she does a boxing workout, something she started a while back.

“Well, boxing is great,” she said after beating American Vania King in straight sets, 6-2 6-4 to get to the fourth round. “I get my aggressions out. It was fun, but it was hard, as well. You get to work your core, your arms, your shoulders. It was a lot of cardio, as well. You learn how to distribute your power as well, because the first time I actually went in the ring and tried just for fun to fight with someone. I just went all in in the beginning, and after two rounds you’re dead.

“I realized you have to wait for your chances. I need to wait for the right moment. The same in tennis. You can’t just go all in all the time. You need to play the ball and then wait for a right chance to go in and then attack.”

Of course, don’t expect her to knock out Manny Pacquiao anytime soon.

“I prefer not to knock out anyone,” Woznacki added. “I’m a nice girl, so… Or I like to think so.”

And then there’s soccer, a game she played as a youth,

“Keep my feet up,” she injected when asked. “No, but I don’t know, I just think tennis is a great sport. It’s fantastic. I’ve had so many good experiences. But, yeah, to have my kids playing, I would just put them and give them to a coach or someone, yeah, who could teach them, because I have spent enough hours on court, I think.”

And then there’s golf. A sport Rafael Nadal plays to teach himself concentration and enjoys in his spare time. If Wozniacki picks it up, she would have a great teacher in her boyfriend Rory McIlvoy.

“Well, even though golf and tennis have some similarities, it’s also much different,” she said, “Golf is such a mental game. You’re playing against the course. You’re playing with yourself and trying to do a good score.

“You know, sometimes we can get into that spiral where you just think, Okay, I just can’t hit it right, you know, or I just need to put it in the hole but it just keeps missing. It’s so mental. If you stay positive and believe in yourself, it makes the game so much easier.

“So, you know, it’s the same, similar in tennis, but you have an opponent, as well.”

And that opponent will be the winner of the match between 15th seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova and Akgul Amanmuradova.

Wozniacki Shows A Lions Heart Against Cibulkova

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.