Those Wozniackis, they're crafty

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 /by

Between Caroline Wozniacki's canoodling with star golfer Rory McIlroy in public and her father's new attempted exploit, it appears that the Haus of Woz is on an intense fact-finding mission of late. Perhaps it's called Operation "So How the Hell Does One Win a Major?"

Word on the street is that papa Piotr Wozniacki has tried to lure away Petra Kvitova's fitness trainer. This for the expressed purpose of having him, Jozef Ivanko, join the would-be fleet of coaches at an allegedly forthcoming (wait for it) Wozniacki Academy. It'd be a tennis training camp, something like a mobile Nick Bollettieri training ground, for 14- to 18-year-old prodigies. (Say, maybe Monica Seles could serve as the resident poet laureate?)

The point is that Mr. Wozniacki sent a text message speaking to the opportunity to Ivanko directly after this year's Wimbledon championships. This on the heels of his daughter's demoralizing fourth-round loss to Dominika Cibulkova and Kvitova's race to the title. (Nevermind that Kvitova dismantled Wozniacki, 6-2, 6-0, in 45 minutes at Wimbledon in 2010.)

In stringing together seven brilliant matches, Kvitova adeptly leapfrogged Wozniacki in winning her first Slam. Should she rise to the apex of women's tennis, she zapped in advance the questions that have dogged some of her peers about loitering at the top as a Slamless No. 1. Along with Wozniacki, the present penthouse tenant, somewhere Jelena Jankovic and Dinara Safina also sighed. "How did she do it?"

Well, Ivanko sure knows how. As do Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Tsvetana Pironkova, Yanina Wickmayer, Roberta Vinci, Anne Keothavong, and Alexa Glatch—all defeated at SW19 by Kvitova and her deft volleys, whipping forehands and cannon serves, all struck with precision, a wondrous Pop! off the racquet's sweet spot, and punctuated by that cry of "Pojd!" Watch:



As evidenced by this clip, a collective of Kvitova's 222 winners at Wimbledon, she mercilessly extinguished her foes' desires to utter much in the way of "Come on!" or "Forza!" or the like. Witness just how often her opponents were nowhere near the winners she blasted. Pironkova herself was reduced to ducking for cover (3:48 mark) and flinging her racquet in exasperation (4:24). Wickmayer, Azarenka and others simply found themselves wrong-footed or standing in the middle of the baseline, utterly aghast.

Ivanko would be wise to stay if he relishes a winner. Kvitova showed at Wimbledon—yea, shows time and again—that taking all comers is a dish best served cold, and when the most cherished and coveted dish of all, the Venus Rosewater, is on the line.

—Jonathan Scott (@jonscott9)

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