New golfer Wozniacki gets major advice from Rory

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - 17:47

Melbourne: Caroline Wozniacki has taken up golf and drawn inspiration from Rory McIlroy`s stunning turnaround to win the U.S. Open after his U.S. Masters meltdown, as she seeks to break through for her maiden grand slam at Melbourne Park.

Wozniacki, whose long reign as world number one has been dogged by criticism for her lack of a grand slam title, said her boyfriend McIlroy had given her a few tips on how to move on from heart-breaking failure.

"It`s just about, you can`t really do anything about the past," Wozniacki said of her motivational chats with the 22-year-old Northern Irishman.

"You just need to look forward. You have a tournament now, and you want to do the best you can. That`s it.”

"Then if it goes well, it`s great. If not, you have the next one. It`s like tennis. So, you know, it`s just important not to dwell too much in the past."

Wozniacki showed her own sporting pedigree at Hisense Arena on Wednesday with a grinding 6-1, 7-6 defeat over long-time friend and former doubles partner Anna Tatishvili of Georgia.

She will next face 31st seed Monica Niculescu of Romania in the third round.

The ebullient Dane, who delights in her public banter with McIlroy on Twitter, said her golf, like her grand slam ambitions, remains very much a work in progress despite her boyfriend arranging a special coach for her.

"It`s not so easy as it looks on TV. It`s not just hitting a ball, standing still. It`s a lot of mental," the 21-year-old told reporters.

"I think it`s more mental than tennis actually. You do one wrong movement and the ball goes in the trees or somewhere and it`s difficult.”

"Yeah, I`ve been out playing a little bit. It`s good when you have someone there saying, `Okay, remember these few key points.` Then I can hit it far," she added.

"Once I`m out there alone and have to start playing, it goes right and left and up and down. I get so frustrated. Feel like I just want to break the clubs and go home."

Wozniacki has also inspired McIlroy to pick up the tennis racket, but there`s not much rivalry there.

"I think both of us don`t want to, I mean, be too serious in the other sport. It`s just for fun. Yeah, a bit of fun."

McIlroy, who has been in Dubai preparing for the start of his season at Abu Dhabi, might have admired his sweetheart`s grit as she came back from 4-1 down in the second sent to close out the match 7-4 in the tiebreaker.

Wozniacki shrugged off a wrist injury she sustained at the Sydney International but had a medical timeout to deal with a "small" blister.

She has been reading Rafa Nadal`s book "Rafa: My Story" and has yet to finish it, but can identify with the Mallorcan`s mortal devastation after losing, even as a 10-year-old.

"I remember when I was playing under-10s or under-12s I thought my world was going to break down if I didn`t win this match," she said.

"When I lost I was devastated and (would) start crying. I was like, `Oh, I never want to step on the court again, this hard work doesn`t pay off`, all these things.

"But I hung in there, and it paid off in the end."

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - 17:50

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