At first, Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki attempted to downplay the fact that she's the No. 1 seed at the U.S. Open thanks, in part, to the withdrawal of injured Serena Williams. But it's hard to stay humble when you're on the kind of roll Wozniacki is enjoying now.
She's won three of her past four tournaments, all on hardcourts, coming into the U.S. Open. Her run began with a win in Copenhagen earlier this month, and after losing a third-round match in sweltering Cincinnati, Wozniacki rebounded to win in Montreal and then at the Pilot Pen event in New Haven yesterday, where she defeated Nadia Petrova, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
When she sat for an interview today, Wozniacki at first said she wasn't thinking about her No. 1 seeding, but she eventually admitted, "Definitely, that's a big thing for me. To be the No. 1 seed at a Grand Slam feels good. I still have to win seven matches to win a Grand Slam, and that's not easy."
Asked if the pressure of her top ranking might affect her, Wozniacki finally stepped up to the plate with her true feelings. "I don't think there's any pressure because I think the pressure is when you're put on the spot and you don't feel like you belong there, don't think you deserve to be there.
"I think I deserve to be where I am, and I think I'm feeling comfortable there. So, I'm just really excited and looking forward to play."
There, she said it. And her recent performances certainly have given Wozniacki reason to be confident. Now No. 2 in the world, she has yet to win a Grand Slam, but Wozniacki came close last year in the U.S. Open, losing in the final to Kim Clijsters. That result seemed to serve as a launching pad for this season.
"I really like being here," Wozniacki said of the National Tennis Center. "It brings back good memories for me. Coming back here from last year, I just enjoy it. I think the crowd is amazing. It's a great atmosphere out there in the stadium."