Ahead of the US Open, the ambitious women’s tennis ace, who topped the rankings after winning the 2011 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, revealed what’s next on the agenda plus why she’ll never tire of visits to the emirate
I feel honoured every time I get the chance to represent Denmark, which is why it has always been incredibly important to me to play at the Fed Cup ties, and I can’t wait to represent Denmark at the Olympics.
Having been named as an ambassador for Danish junior tennis I know that I’m a role model for many young people; it is a big responsibility but I think I’m up to the task. If only a couple of hundred kids pick up a tennis racket after seeing me on television, it was worth it for me.
Being the number one tennis player in the world has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. Reaching it was very hard work, but keeping it is the real challenge because there are so many good players out there. Nowadays, I go to every tournament as one of the players that could win it on paper, but in reality, I believe that anyone can win. I have a bull’s eye on my back, which comes with the ranking, but so far, I’m enjoying it and every day I’m working towards keeping it.
One of my favourite Tour stops is Dubai, so the 2011 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships was a great victory for me. Winning the first event of the year is always special, especially when you beat some good players and show some good tennis, so I was very happy with my title.
When you win a tournament you have beautiful memories of the place, and Dubai is no exception. The facilities are great; what is really nice is that you can practise in the morning, before the crowds come in, so I could work on things even in the middle of the tournament.
Since I always enjoy coming to Dubai, I’m fairly certain I’ll be here in 2012. The city has a certain buzz about it, which is very exciting for me; the weather, the crowd, the way people show interest in tennis. I like cities that are lively, and there’s always something to do here.
The months leading up to the US Open were pretty long and often gruelling. Unfortunately, I didn’t do that well at the Rogers Cup, but I’ve learned from my loss against Roberta Vinci. I’m excited for Cincinnati (Western and Southern Open) and Hew Haven Open – I enjoy playing at Yale in particular, so I can’t wait for that event. I’m confident my game is coming together, and if I take it one match at a time and try to find ways to improve each match, I’ll be fine at the Open* too. (*Caroline reached the semi-finals where she lost to Serena Williams)
One of the advantages of being young is that you learn fast but at the same time, I also have the experience to be able to use that knowledge next time I meet a certain player or I’m in a similar situation. Playing so much has matured me and has helped my game. Of course I’m constantly looking to step it up, and a crucial element in the process is learning and what you take away from each match, whether it be a win or loss. The next step is to use what you learnt and shape it in a way that will benefit you in the future.