Former No1 Caroline Wozniacki to retire at Australian Open, age just 29

Caroline Wozniacki announces that she will retire from tennis at the Australian Open next year

Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki (Photo: Marianne Bevis)

Caroline Wozniacki, former world No1 and Grand Slam champion, has announced her retirement from professional tennis.

The popular Dane, age just 29, will end her career after the Australian Open next January, where she won her only Major title less than two years ago.

She posted the news on Instagram today, saying:

“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 No1 ranking for 71 weeks, a WTA Finals victory, three 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, [if] 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 [Lee, in June] was one of those goals, and starting a family with him while continuing to travel the world and helping raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis are all passions of mine moving forward.”

Wozniacki was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) 18 months ago. She went on to win the Premier Mandatory in Beijing that year, but has since reached just one final, in Charleston this year. And during that span, she has not gone beyond the third round at any of the Majors.

She continued in her post:

“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!”

Winner of the Wimbledon junior title in 2006, Wozniacki would break the top 100 by the next summer. She won her first title in 2008, reached the first of two US Open finals in 2009, age 19, and won her first Premier Mandatory in Beijing in 2010. That was her sixth title of the year, and took her to No1 for the first time, at still only 20 years old.

She last rose to the top—thereby accumulating 71 weeks—with her sole Major title in Australia. And that victory came hot on the heels of another first for Wozniacki, the WTA Finals title, in one of six qualifying years she achieved the WTA season finale.

Those victories were all the more sweet for following a season of injuries that forced her to miss a swathe of tournaments during 2016 and end the year at No19. After bouncing back to the top, however, she was hit by RA, and has subsequently struggled to make her mark at the highest level aside from her semi-final finish in Beijing at the start of October.

Along the way, Wozniacki has picked up a number of WTA Awards, including Newcomer of the Year in 2008, and twice the Diamond Ace award, given to the player who promotes the game of tennis on and off the court.

She will, though, draw the line at the scene of perhaps her hardest won victory, the Australian Open.

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