Wozniacki needs to step up in Australia, says Navratilova

Caroline Wozniacki will be inspired to win the next big test in tennis at the Australian Open to affirm her number one ranking and move toward ending a "weird" period in women`s tennis, Martina Navratilova said.

Last Updated: Nov 11, 2010, 08:39 AM IST

New York: Caroline Wozniacki will be inspired to win the next big test in tennis at the Australian Open to affirm her number one ranking and move toward ending a "weird" period in women`s tennis, Martina Navratilova said.

"I`m waiting for Wozniacki to assert herself a little more," Navratilova told reporters in a telephone interview after scaling 55 stories to the top of a city skyscraper Wednesday to promote her charity climb of Mt Kilimanjaro next month.
"You`ve got to step up to the plate at the big one. She`ll be very motivated in Australia, put it that way."

Navratilova, winner of 18 grand slam singles crowns, said it was time someone in the new wave of the women`s game to prove herself in the grand slams in order to gain acceptance as a clear number one player in the world.

Wozniacki, a 20-year-old Dane, won six tournaments to end the year as number one yet failed to reach a single grand slam final in 2010 and is still seeking her maiden major triumph.

In recent seasons, Jelena Jankovic of Serbia and Russia`s Dinara Safina both hit number one for brief spells without a grand slam title on their resume.

"It has been a bit weird the last five, six years," Navratilova, 54, said about the pinnacle of the women`s sport.

Navratilova, who reigned as number one for a combined total of 332 weeks in her career, said Serena Williams, 29, was the best player in the world when she is fit, but noted because of injuries she has not been able to play frequently enough to hold the top spot.

"Wozniacki has played great all year but not done that well in the slams," Navratilova said. "But she was the best player day in, day out."

"She needs to win a slam, she wants to win a slam and most likely next year she`ll win one."
Navratilova won a major battle this year, pronounced cancer free following a lumpectomy and radiation treatment after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

"I`m good. It`s all good," Navratilova said about her health and conditioning for the six-day journey up and down Africa`s highest peak to benefit Laureus Sport youth programs.

"I`ll hit a couple of tennis balls there to see how far the ball goes," Navratilova said about reaching the peak.

Bureau Report