She’s the queen without a crown, the shooting star that’s yet to blaze a trail.
Maybe, though, just maybe the tennis gods have pencilled in January 28 as Caroline Wozniacki’s date with destiny – the balmy summer evening of the 2012 Australian Open women’s final at Melbourne Park.
At juicy odds of $13, would a sneaky wager on the world No.1 finally breaking her grand-slam duck in Australia be the worst bet of the year?
After all, even ‘Aussie Kim’ took an age to silence the doubters, four years and four major finals defeats in fact before Clijsters validated her No.1 status – and look at her go now.
Wozniacki may not be everybody’s cup of tea, and until she vindicates her top ranking with a triumph on one of the sport’s four grandest stages she’ll continue to lack the credibility she craves.
But there is one thing this Danish diva does more often than any player on the WTA Tour: she wins. A lot.
Still only 21, a small matter that’s often forgotten, Wozniacki will arrive in Melbourne having won more matches than her rivals for three straight seasons. Doesn’t that make her the value bet of the Australian Open? Such consistency will surely be rewarded with grand slam spoils sooner rather than later.
With injury and fitness clouds hovering over titleholder Clijsters and five-times champion Serena Williams, it’s hard to believe Wozzy and Slammin’ Sam Stosur, also paying a healthy $13, are double-figure odds.
As for the men, should we even bother looking beyond the so-called Big Four of grand slam gluttons Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, top dog Novak Djokovic and major maiden Andy Murray, the Great Scot hoping for third final lucky?
Well, it’d be un-Australian not to back an underdog, so let’s take big Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a lazy $50 at $21.
The flamboyant Frenchman not only has the distinction of having already toppled Djokovic, Nadal and Murray at Melbourne Park, he’s also fresh from winning the opening event of the season and last year became the first player in 179 tries to conquer the Fed Express from two sets to love down.
Fifty bucks says Tsonga makes the last four again, at least.