Wozniacki: I'm retiring after Australian Open
Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki has announced that she will retire from tennis after the Australian Open in January.
Wozniacki, 29, won her only Grand Slam title in the Australian Open in 2018 and will say goodbye to tennis after the competition, which runs from January 20 to February 2.
The Dane explained that her decision was motivated by a desire for a new challenge, rather than any issues around her health. Wozniacki announced the news via an Instagram post.
"I’ve played professionally since I was 15 years old. In that time I’ve experienced an amazing first chapter of my life. With 30 WTA singles titles, a world #1 ranking for 71 weeks, a WTA Finals victory, 3 Olympics, including carrying the flag for my native Denmark, and winning the 2018 Australian Open Grand slam championship, I’ve accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court.
"I’ve always told myself, when the time comes, that there are things away from tennis that I want to do more, then it’s time to be done. In recent months, I’ve realized that there is a lot more in life that I’d like to accomplish off the court. Getting married to David was one of those goals and starting a family with him while continuing to travel the world and helping raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis (project upcoming) are all passions of mine moving forward.
"So with that, today I am announcing that I will be retiring from professional tennis after the Australian Open in January. This has nothing to do with my health and this isn’t a goodbye, I look forward to sharing my exciting journey ahead with all of you! Finally, I want to thank with all my heart, the fans, my friends, my sponsors, my team, especially my father as my coach, my husband, and my family for decades of support! Without all of you I could have never have done this!"
Wozniacki burst on to the scene in 2008, winning the WTA's newcomer of the year award. The following season, she established herself at the top of the women's game, reaching her first Grand Slam final at the US Open, where she lost to Kim Clijsters.
She was the year-end No.1 in the WTA Rankings for 2010 and 2011 but still found a major title elusive. As battles with injury followed, Wozniacki found it hard in the following few years, but she reached her second Grand Slam final, again in New York, in 2014, only to lose to her close friend Serena Williams.
More injuries followed though, but the 2016 US Open proved to be the impetus for an era or renewed success for Wozniacki, who reached the semi-finals despite falling to 74 in the rankings.
In 2017, she was consistently in the top 10 once more and won the biggest title of her career at the WTA Finals, where she comprehensively beat Venus Williams. The pinnacle of her career came at the 2018 Australian Open, where she finally won her first Grand Slam title, defeating Simona Halep in a gripping final.
However, later that year, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after a summer slump in form and the 2019 season was a disappointing one for her.
It is tough to believe that Caroline Wozniacki is only 29 years old, so long has her stay at the top end of women's tennis been. She has had to struggle with more than the majority of her contemporaries - the injuries, the rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis and the various rumours about her personal life but she has always been dedicated to her game and a popular player amongst fans and peers.
It is impossible not to wonder whether she could have achieved more in terms of Grand Slam success with her enormous talent and longevity, but it is undeniable that the WTA circuit will be a poorer place without Wozniacki.