July 12, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

Ousted Wozniacki rips USO scheduling

NEW YORK – Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 5 player in the world and a US Open semifinalist a year ago, wasn’t happy about going out so early.

She was upset by the dangerous Ekaterina Makarova in the second round Wednesday.

And afterwards, the veteran Dane was pretty outspoken about the tournament scheduling.

Wozniacki isn’t exactly a go-to for an inflammatory or even particularly insightful quote. She keeps it on the bland side, which is probably wise.

On Wednesday, Wozniacki’s beef was with the US Open scheduling. 

She’s not the only one arching an eyebrow or shaking their head about that very thing.

“I think putting out a schedule where the no. 5 in the world is playing on court 5, fifth match on after 11, I think that’s unacceptable. And when you look on centre court … I understand completely the business side of things and everything. Someone who comes back from a drug sentence, performance-enhancing drugs. And then all of a sudden gets to play every single match on Center Court. I think that’s a questionable thing to do,” she said during her post-match press conference.

“It doesn’t set a good example. And I think someone who has fought their way back from injury and is five in the world deserves to play on a bigger court than Court No. 5,” Wozniacki added. “Finally they moved us to Court 17 which is a really nice court, actually, and we had great atmosphere out there. But yeah, I think sometimes they should look into what things to do in the future.”

Wozniacki’s reasoning doesn’t necessarily hold up. Because of the rain on Tuesday, the schedule was packed Wednesday with the balance of the first-round matches. All of the second-round matches were scheduled “not before 4 p.m.”, or even later.

But the subject of Maria Sharapova clearly hits a nerve.

While always acknowledging she understands it’s a business decision, Wozniacki has been blunt whenever the issue of awarding wild cards to the 30-year-old Russian has arisen.

It started with Stuttgart

Back in March, Wozniacki was fairly clear she didn’t think Sharapova, whose 15-month doping suspension ended in the middle of the clay-court event in Stuttgart sponsored by her own sponsor, Porsche, should get a wild card into that event.

“Obviously rules are twisted and turned in favour of who wants to do what. I think everyone deserves a second chance … but at the same time, I feel like when a player is banned for drugs, I think that someone should start from the bottom and fight their way back,” said Wozniacki, whose ranking was No. 14 at the time.

Wozniacki echoed those thoughts when asked if Sharapova should get a wild card into the French Open (in the end, Sharapova didn’t get one).

The reaction, famously, came from Sharapova agent Max Eisenbud. 

Eisenbud apologized. Wozniacki wasn’t having any of it.

It has to be personal; Wozniacki made no mention of No. 94 Evgeniya Rodina and No. 76 Eugenie Bouchard also playing on Arthur Ashe Stadium Wednesday.

And that one raised just as many eyebrows, even if the decision may well have been made for similar seasons.

About Post Author