CINCINNATI -- Like slamless No. 1s Dinara Safina and Jelena Jankovic before her, Caroline Wozniacki faces weekly (if not daily) questions about the flaws in her defense-oriented game and the credibility of her place as a No. 1 ranked player who has not won a Grand Slam.
But having spent now spent longer at No. 1 than Safina and Jankovic combined, (as well as longer than Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters, and several other multiple Grand Slam winnerss), Caroline "Sunshine" Wozniacki has gotten these questions more than anyone in the history of the sport.
At her round table with the media during the All-Access Hour at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, it didn't take long for the refrains to begin, and for Wozniacki to display some off-court defense.
Wozniacki got the standard question about being No. 1 without having won a slam right off the bat.
Caroline Wozniacki: I get that question every single time (laughs). To be honest, I think if you look at every single article, you can find the answer to it. And again, seriously, I just go out and I play and I enjoy what I'm doing. And I'm number one in the world. And there's a reason for that--I've been playing well. And I'm happy about that.
On if hitting the ball harder would help her win a Slam:
Caroline Wozniacki: No, there is no reason to fix something that is not broken. And I've been playing well, I've won five tournaments this year. I just need to keep improving all the time, obviously, because everyone wants to beat you, and everyone wants to do better.
But there was something new to talk about this week.
SBN: Caroline, you had a guest arrive at the tournament yesterday, a...friend of yours, Rory McIlroy. Can you talk about your relationship with him, and having him come here, and being two top athletes together, and so on?
Caroline Wozniacki: It's great. He's such a nice guy. You know, I was happy that he could come here. Unfortunately, he hit a tree root his third hole of last week. But, uh, you know...yeah...as he said in his interview, he heard that Cincinnati is such a nice place, so he wanted to come visit! (laughs)
SBN: Is it so nice because there's a lot of "sunshine" here this time of year?
Caroline Wozniacki: (sigh) Yes. (laughs)
Pressed for details about what she and Rory had gotten up to last night, Caroline Wozniacki was uncharacteristically without a quick reply.
Q: Were you able to do anything last night with Rory in Cincinnati, see anything?
Caroline Wozniacki: Uh...Went for dinner? Yeah. Pretty much it, yeah. Nothing really yet. Maybe going one of the days to Kings Island would be fun?
Once she gets the question a few more times, hopefully Caroline's defense will improve beyond "uh...dinner?" That is hardly the deflection of a world No. 1.
Stay tuned to SB Nation's coverage of the 2011 US Open Series at SBNation.com as well as on Twitter, @DailyForehand .