Caroline Wozniacki starting 2017 year at WTA Auckland

Caroline Wozniacki is expected to start the 2017 season in New Zealand.

Caroline Wozniacki will head to WTA Auckland to start the season in 2017. It’s an event that she has contested three times in the past, including in the last two years running. As of yet she has not won a title in the New Zealand event, however she has made the final before. Heading into the 2017 tournament, she is certainly a player with a ton of promise.

The first time that the Dane contested the Auckland draw was back in 2009, an effort that saw her make the quarterfinal of the tournament. She did not contest the event again until 2015, when she lost in the final to Venus Williams. Last season, Wozniacki had a good showing in Auckland again in what was her third appearance. She made the semifinals before losing to Sloane Stephens. All three appearances totaled, the former World No. 1 is 9-3 in Auckland.

Americans Sloane Stephens and Venus Williams are players that are also on the players’ list for Auckland 2017. Furthermore, Serena Williams is expected to contest the event, one that starts on January 2nd. Other key players that should be in the draw include Barbora Strycova, Kiki Bertens, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The tournament is not that significant on tour, however the cast of players that are heading to Auckland is a pretty deep one.

But if Wozniacki’s form in the latter stages of 2016 is any kind of clue, then she promises to be very dangerous in 2017. The Dane sank low in 2016, however she dug herself out of the depths of the rankings with very strong play that started with a run at the US Open. Wozniacki made the semifinals in that tournament this season, losing to eventual champion Angelique Kerber. After her run at Flushing Meadows, the Dane would actually flirt just a little bit with qualifying for the year-end event in Singapore.

She won the Tokyo title and the Hong Kong title late in the season. If she had re-found her best tennis just a little earlier in 2016, I think that not only would she have made it to Singapore, but she would have had as much of a chance to win the event as anyone.

It seems like the Dane has been around for ages, because she was such an early bloomer. However, she is still just 26 years old. She’s probably a bigger talent than Kerber is, although the German is now more proven with the two Grand Slam titles. Serena Williams has been a major nemesis for Wozniacki, however there’s a chance that 2017 sees the American fall down in the rankings significantly. The Dane could rise up to the top of women’s tennis and a strong start in Auckland, in preparation for the Australian Open, could be a part of that.

Shane Lambert