|Caroline Wozniacki hits a return to Dominika Cibulkova at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, England, June 27, 2011. (EDDIE KEOGH/Reuters)
TORONTO - Caroline Wozniacki has everything anyone could possibly want in life.
Money, looks, good health, the No. 1 world ranking. She even has, allegedly, a celebrity boyfriend, U.S. Open champ Rory McIlroy, and spent her most recent vacation on a boat (read yacht) in sunny St. Tropez.
But the one thing the 21-year-old Dane doesn't have is a Grand Slam title.
For that reason more than anything, Wozniacki also doesn't have -- and might never get -- unanimous support as the best player in women's tennis.
She's just a placeholder, many argue, situated atop the rankings by default. She plays a lot of tournaments, more than the other top pros, so, naturally, her opportunities to rack up all-important wins are enhanced, Woz-bashers say.
But winning the Brussels Open isn't quite on the same level as winning the championship as, say, Wimbledon, which Wozniacki has never done. Same goes for the Aussie, French and U.S. Opens.
None of the criticism seems to bother Wozniacki, though. It goes with the territory, she says.
"To be honest, I don't really think about it," she said Monday during a media session at the Rogers Cup. "I think about myself. It's an individual sport. No matter what you do, there will always be people talking. I'm just happy to be in the spot I'm in, I'm enjoying every minute of it.
"It doesn't really matter if people believe in me or not, I believe in myself and that's the most important thing."
It has been almost a year -- 43 weeks to be more precise -- since Wozniacki first ascended to the top of the WTA rankings. Her reign is the ninth-longest in women's tennis history, although it was interrupted briefly by Kim Clijsters, who was No. 1 for a week in February.
Despite going 0-for-18 in Grand Slams, Wozniacki will tell you she's still getting better. And she's probably right.
"Definitely, I think I've improved and I'm playing better than I was last year," the defending Rogers Cup champion said. "Tennis is a difficult sport, it's an individual sport, and everyone wants to improve, everyone wants to find a way to beat you. I've won five tournaments this year and been doing well and I'm still No. 1 so I'm happy about the way I've been progressing.
"I'm looking forward and excited to start playing some matches again. I always play better when I have a few matches under my belt, so hopefully I can get that before the U.S. Open."
Wozniacki will open defence of her Rogers Cup title against the winner of the first-round match between Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer and Roberta Vinci of Italy.