Caroline Wozniacki, the former No 1 and grand slam champion, will come out of retirement and make a comeback to professional tennis after leaving the sport for three years.
In a first person story published by Vogue, the 32-year-old Dane announced that she will be returning to tennis during the North American hardcourt swing in Montreal and will make her first grand slam appearance at the US Open, where she is a two-time finalist. Shortly afterwards, the US Open announced that they had awarded Wozniacki a wildcard.
Wozniacki is now a mother of two with a two-year-old daughter, Olivia, and a son, James, who was born in October. “I still have goals I want to accomplish. I want to show my kids that you can pursue your dreams no matter your age or role. We decided as a family it’s time. I’m coming back to play and I can’t wait!” wrote Wozniacki on social media.
In January 2020, Wozniacki played her final match at the Australian Open, the site of a career-defining grand slam title two years earlier. Wozniacki had reached world No 1 as an 18-year-old in 2010, compiling 71 weeks at the top ranking and winning 30 titles. Born to a Polish immigrant family in Denmark, Wozniacki’s success was unprecedented for a country that was not known for producing top tennis players.
Wozniacki achieved success as a retriever, grinding down opponents with her consistency, defence and stamina. Despite her immense success and consistent results, for over a decade Wozniacki was unable to consolidate her success by winning a grand slam title. Wozniacki finally broke that curse in 2018, defeating Simona Halep in an incredibly physical three-set match to win the Australian Open.
In 2019, Wozniacki was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, which expedited her retirement as she struggled with the drastic effort it took to manage the illness and maintain her physicality as a professional athlete. Since giving birth for a second time, Wozniacki has been present on-site at grand slams, broadcasting for US television and competing in legends’ doubles at the French Open last month while frequently training.
“How long will I be able to play at my highest level – a year, two years, three years? I don’t know. But I know that five years from now, when the kids are in school, it will be too late. I’m not going to make any bold predictions – but if I didn’t believe in myself, I wouldn’t be doing this: I’m too competitive to just show up and not feel like I’m going to be one of the best players out there,” wrote Wozniacki.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Billy Harris and Anna Brogan failed to earn places in the Wimbledon main draw after losing in the final qualifying round at Roehampton on Thursday. Harris lost 6-4, 7-6, (8-6), 6-4 against big-serving Hamad Medjedovic from Serbia, before Brogan was beaten 6-3, 6-0 by China’s Zhuoxuan Bai.
Those reverses mean there will be eight Britons in the men’s singles event at Wimbledon with six in the women’s singles competition.
In other action, Coco Gauff powered past her doubles partner Jessica Pegula to reach the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International. Gauff wasted little time in dispatching her fellow American 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 10 minutes. The 19-year-old will face another compatriot, Madison Keys, in the last four.
Keys – the 2014 Eastbourne champion – won five games in a row during a 6-4, 6-1 success over the lucky loser Petra Martic. The world number five Caroline Garcia endured a disappointing day as a right shoulder injury caused her to retire while trailing Russia’s Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 2-1.
Camila Giorgi awaits Kasatkina in the semi-finals. The Italian, ranked 67th in the world, also benefited from a retirement, with Jelena Ostapenko pulling out of their match after losing the opening set 7-6 (8).
Source : The Guardian