ISTANBUL Oct 29 Caroline Wozniacki will top the
WTA rankings for the second consecutive year but that does not
make her the best player in the world, according to former men's
number one Mats Wilander.
The 21-year-old Dane failed to reach the semi-finals at the
WTA Championships in Istanbul, after winning only one of her
round robin matches. She continued her poor record at the
biggest events and Wilander believes Wimbledon champion Petra
Kvitova is the natural heir to the throne.
"The ranking is the result of not necessarily being the best
player in the world it's the result of being the most consistent
player in the world," Swede Wilander, who is working at the
season-ending championships for TV channel Eurosport, told
Reuters in an interview at the Sinan Erdem Arena.
"That's what it reflects. She's certainly not the best
player in the world at her best, but at her worst she's probably
the best player in the world compared to the others.
"Her range is very narrow, very even. But is she playing to
be the number one in the world, to win lots of matches and make
a lot of money or is she playing to win grand slams. I guess
you'll have to ask her that."
Wozniacki's lack of success at the grand slams where her CV
shows just one final, at the U.S. Open in 2009, has raised many
questions about her validity at the top.
Wilander, who won seven in his glittering career, questioned
whether she has the mentality to triumph at the majors.
"The thing is we know she can win small tournaments, what we
don't know is if mentally she can win the big ones," Wilander
said of the Dane who has 18 WTA titles to her name.
"We know Wozniacki has the head to be consistent but we
don't know if she's got the head to wrap her thoughts around
winning a grand slam. Her game is not there just yet."
Wilander said the fact that Wozniacki can receive on-court
coaching from father Piotr during regular Tour events but not in
the grand slams was also a telling factor.
"To be honest, the mistake that she is doing is that she is
getting different treatment on the WTA Tour than she does at the
grand slams because of the on-court coaching," he said. "You
have to look at the obvious reasons.
"I'm not in favour of it for her because she seems lost
compared to when she's getting coached."
While Wilander said Wozniacki needed to get a "foot quicker"
and put "5 mph" on her serve, he believes Kvitova, who is
breathing down her neck in the rankings after reaching the WTA
Championships final at her first attempt, already has the
weapons to grab top spot and start racking up slams.
"Absolutely," Wilander said. "Kvitova is going to be
inconsistent because of the way she plays but mentally she is
very consistent. She always looks for a way out and looks to
come forward and be aggressive, she is happy to go to the net
and make her opponents miss.
"She is very natural in figuring out what she needs to do
with her game. Unlike Caroline she's already proved she can
raise her game to win a slam."
(Reporting by Martyn Herman)