Wozniacki tasted victory in her return at the Canadian Open but faltered in the subsequent matches in Montreal and Cincinnati.
US Open 2023
Location: Flushing Meadows, New York
Timeline: August 28 – September 10
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For a considerable stretch following her teary-eyed exit—marked by the Australian Open audience breaking into Neil Diamond’s iconic tune ‘Sweet Caroline’—Wozniacki didn’t even have a clue where her tennis gear was stored.
However, the spark reignited shortly after the athlete turned mom for the second time in October. By June, she declared her comeback to the WTA circuit.
Springing back to the Grand Slam scene, Wozniacki takes the court at the US Open this Monday, post pit-stops at Montreal and Cincinnati.
“I was out of the game for quite some time and frankly, I didn’t miss it,” said Wozniacki, the 2018 Australian Open champ who once led the world rankings for 71 weeks.
“Tennis has been an ever-present part of my life since my childhood. But, man, did I need that hiatus.”
Eighteen months prior to bowing out, Wozniacki had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Yet she had her sights set on more than just tennis—she aspired to “unlock achievements in other spheres of life.”
Wozniacki didn’t just hit the books at Harvard Business School; she embarked on a globe-trotting escapade she playfully dubbed her “adventure-packed” agenda.
A delayed honeymoon adventure with husband David, a retired NBA star she wed in 2019, involved excursions to Australia, New Zealand, and trekking escapades up Mount Kilimanjaro and through Poland’s scenic peaks.
Then, life added another layer: Wozniacki announced her first pregnancy and welcomed a baby girl, Olivia, in June 2021. A son, James, followed suit in October.
But soon after the new arrival, Wozniacki found herself reacquainted with her long-forgotten racquets.
“The cardio workout started calling my name. I’ll forever be a fan of the sport, whether I’m 33 or octogenarian,” said Wozniacki, speaking before her evening match against Russian qualifier Tatiana Prozorova at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
“The realization dawned that I’m still pretty darn good and young enough to give it another whirl. YOLO, right?”
Reflecting a mindset brimming with optimism, she continued, “If you sense you’ve still got game to make an impact, you seize the opportunity. No harm in giving it a shot; you’ll never know until you try.”
Wozniacki’s career has long been marked by her unflinching competitiveness and a dogged determination to silence naysayers.
Tracing her trajectory:
Rising from a small, tennis-anonymous Nordic country to be the world’s top player.
Overhauling her playing style to clinch an elusive Grand Slam when most had counted her out.
Persisting in the elite league despite battling rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition causing agonizing joint inflammation.
Now, Wozniacki is out to upend expectations again, eager to challenge the fresh-faced leaders of the WTA Tour. This is not a one-and-done affair; she aims to be a regular contender in 2024.
Drawing inspiration from her contemporaries like close pal Serena Williams, who also made stunning comebacks post-motherhood, Wozniacki expressed pride in the path they’re laying for future generations.
“There’s a growing cadre of athlete-moms who’ve shown that it’s possible to pause, parent, and then return to the sport without missing a beat,” she said.
“I may not be a spring chicken anymore, but hey, there are older birds still soaring. I’m stoked to be back in this moment. Three years ago, who’d have thought I’d be here? It’s pretty rad.”
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Caroline Wozniacki’s Grand Slam Return
When did Caroline Wozniacki originally retire from professional tennis?
Caroline Wozniacki retired from professional tennis in January 2020. She left the sport as a former world number one.
What spurred Wozniacki’s decision to return to tennis?
The desire to return reignited shortly after Wozniacki gave birth to her second child in October of last year. She officially announced her return to the WTA Tour in June.
Where did Caroline Wozniacki make her comeback appearance?
Wozniacki made her comeback at the Canadian Open where she won her first match. However, she lost the subsequent matches in Montreal and Cincinnati before appearing at the US Open.
What were Wozniacki’s activities during her break from professional tennis?
During her break, Wozniacki got enrolled at Harvard Business School, embarked on a delayed honeymoon adventure that included trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro, and welcomed two children—a daughter named Olivia and a son named James.
What health condition does Wozniacki have?
Eighteen months prior to her initial retirement, Wozniacki was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis—a chronic autoimmune condition that causes painful inflammation in the joints.
Is this return a one-off appearance for Caroline Wozniacki?
No, this is not intended to be a one-off return. Wozniacki has plans to play a fuller schedule in 2024, indicating her commitment to the sport for the foreseeable future.
Who are some of the other tennis athletes that have made comebacks after motherhood?
Several other tennis stars, including Serena Williams, have successfully returned to the sport after becoming mothers, and they serve as an inspiration for Wozniacki.
What’s the focus of Wozniacki’s career now?
Wozniacki is now focused on challenging the new generation of tennis stars leading the WTA Tour. She is keen on proving that she still has what it takes to compete at the highest level.
How did the public react to Wozniacki’s initial retirement?
During her emotional farewell at the Australian Open, the crowd serenaded her with Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline,’ signaling a warm and appreciative send-off.
What does Wozniacki say about the feasibility of balancing family life and a professional sports career?
Wozniacki expressed pride in her peers, stating that it’s possible to take a break, have a family, and then come back to play the sport at a very high level.
More about Caroline Wozniacki’s Grand Slam Return
- Caroline Wozniacki Official Website
- WTA Tour Profile: Caroline Wozniacki
- US Open 2023 Official Site
- Story of Athletes with Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Tennis Stars Who Made Comebacks After Motherhood
- Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’: The Backstory
- Harvard Business School
- The Impact of Rheumatoid Arthritis on Athletes
- Montreal Canadian Open
- Cincinnati Tennis Open