Caroline Wozniacki is a pretty handy tennis player. Since her WTA debut in 2005, the Dane has won 18 WTA singles titles and has made the final in another 10 WTA events. She has managed to improve her year end rankings each year and ended 2010 and 2011 in pole position. In fact, before losing her number one spot after bowing out in the quarter finals of the 2012 Australian Open Wozniacki had held pole position for 67 weeks overall, with 49 of those weeks being consecutive.
However, she has had many critics who have carped on about the fact that the women’s world number has not won a Grand Slam tournament. Like Dinara Safina before her Wozniacki is constantly judged by the fact that although she may play the best and most consistent tennis throughout the year, the critics are not satisfied by the fact that she cannot beat the best when it matters the most.
Which brings me to Real Madrid. Also pretty handy at the game of football.
The team from the capital bounced back from their exit in the Copa Del Ray by steam-rollering bottom club Real Zaragoza 3-1, having gone down by one goal initially. Barcelona continued their poor away form and failed to score in 0-0 game at Villareal. This victory sees Real Madrid extend their lead at the top of La Liga to seven points. Although a seven point lead is not insurmountable, it would take a combination of a very bad run by Real and Barcelona embarking on a hot streak to win the championship.
In the event that Madrid wins the title (and not beating Barcelona in the return league match), would there be some (any?) criticism from their fans, supporters or the press about the fact that they managed to dislodge Barcelona from top but that they failed to overcome the Catalans head-to-head?
I realise that most people will plump for the fact that the results would show that Madrid played the most consistent football and that is all that matters. However, surely the (lack of) results against Barcelona would have to grate and irritate Jose Mourinho. The fact that Guardiola has managed to get the better of him during his time in Spain and the fact that some of his players began to question his tactical approach.
A title is a title, but can you claim to be the best when you haven’t beaten the best?