Next-gen Wozniacki warns as she welcomes a Williams return

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 25, 2011 10:10 hrs

Miami, March 25 (DPA) World number one Caroline Wozniacki said Tuesday that a tennis return for recovering Serena Williams would be good for the sport - but warned that the new generation has already staked a claim on the top of the game.

'Serena has achieved so much (13 Grand Slams) that I'd also like to achieve,' said the 20-year-old world number one Dane in the run-up to her second-round start at the Miami Masters. 'But for Serena, getting fit again is the most important thing.

'I considered her a friend, but we have a good younger generation coming up, the competition is very deep now. Serena will have a good challenge.'

The 30-year-old younger Williams sister is still recovering from surgery in February to remove a blood clot in her lungs and has no timetable set for a return to the sport after last playing nine months ago at Wimbledon. Her elder sister Venus also pulled from Miami with a longstanding abdominal injury.

The pair consider the tournament their home event and have won eight of the past 13 women's title between them, with Serena claiming five during a seven-year run.

Wozniacki visited Williams in Los Angeles earlier in the month and has spoken to the American in recent days. 'I wish her well and hope she comes back soon,' said the Indian Wells champion who claimed six trophies in 2010 and two so far in 2011.

Wozniacki, who receives a bye in the first round like the other 31 women's seeds at the dual-sex event, again disputed criticism that holding the top ranking without having won a Grand Slam is somehow shameful for the sport.

'I want to be number one and win a Grand Slam. When you're young you think of being number one, you don't know yet what those Grand Slams mean or how important they are.

'I've reached one of my goals and now I'm going after my other,' said Wozniacki.

The Dane said that she feels she has the game to eventually break through into the ranks of Grand Slam champions. 'I have a lot of weapons, offensive and defensive. You don't win big events without them.

'A Grand Slam title for me is hopefully just a matter of time. I'm on the right way.'

Women's play was getting underway Tuesday with men due to start their event Wednesday.