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NEW YORK: Caroline Wozniacki is not feeling the pressure of being a top seed at a Grand Slam event for the first time.
The 20-year-old Dane who lost to Kim Clijsters in last year's final will begin her campaign on Tuesday at the year's final Grand Slam event as the top seed because World No. 1 Serena Williams is sidelined by a right foot injury.
World No. 2 Wozniacki comes into Flushing Meadows fortnight having won last Monday's rain-delayed WTA final at Montreal and the New Haven WTA final on Saturday, boosting her confidence she can live up to her seeding.
“I don't feel there's any pressure,” Wozniacki said on Sunday. “Pressure is when you are put on the spot and you don't feel like you belong there, don't think you deserve to be there.
“I feel like I deserve to be where I am and I'm feeling comfortable.
Wozniacki, who has 10 career titles, nearly completed a dream run through the women's field last year and is excited about her chances this time.
“Definitely that would be a dream, to win a Grand Slam. That's the goal,” Wozniacki said.
“It's about playing well at the right moments, taking your chances and having a little bit of luck. Everything has to come together.
“To be the number one seed at a Grand Slam, that feels good. To win the matches I still have to play well. To win a Grand Slam I have to win seven matches and that's not easy.
Wozniacki is not the same player she was last year when she was something of a shock finalist, having been inspired to work harder by her U.S. Open success.
“It's hard to compare myself to how I was last year,” Wozniacki said. “My fitness level has definitely improved. I've gotten better little by little.
“I don't think too much has changed since last year. More people are talking about my game. I'm still the same person. I still love playing tennis.
“Making the final here gave me a lot of confidence and belief I could do it. I kept working hard and getting better and hopefully I can do it again.
Wozniacki's decision to play in New Haven last week after rain delays pushed back Montreal matches was greeted with some scepticism, although with titles at Copenhagen and Ponte Vedra Beach she now leads women in 2010 crowns.
After five weeks off following Wimbledon, she wanted matches and endurance is no worry.
“I feel good. I'm in good shape,” she said.
“Definitely I feel like I'm playing better and better. The last four weeks have been great for me. It's a positive problem to me if I have so many matches. It means I'm winning.
Wozniacki has the shotmaking skills to attack but the patience and ground strokes to outlast opponents in long rallies without wearing down first.
“For me it's just about being smart,” she said. “There's no sense in going for the winner when there is no chance to get the winner. I can go for the rallies. I can hang in there.”
That could be a problem for her rivals, the first of whom is wild card Chelsey Gullickson.— AFP
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