Sport Tennis Former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki to retire after Australian Open to start family
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Former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki to retire after Australian Open to start family

caroline-wozniacki
A crowd favourite, Wozniacki was at the top of her game after winning the 2018 Australian Open. Photo: AAP
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Last year’s Australian Open winner and former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki has announced she will retire after the Australian Open.

Writing on her Instagram on Friday, Wozniacki, 29, said she wanted to start a family with her husband, former NBA player David Lee, and work to raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis.

“In recent months, I’ve realised 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,” she wrote.

Wozniacki got engaged to Lee on Bora Bora in 2017, and a year later told Vogue she wanted a “big family”.

“I would love to have a big family and probably step away a little from the spotlight,” she said in December last year.

She had earlier won the Australian Open in January in a tight three-set clash against Simona Halep, landing her first grand slam title and putting her at the top of her game.

As she left Rod Laver Arena, the crowd sang “Sweet Caroline” with Lee there to meet her in the locker room.

The Dane does not turn 30 until July next year but with prize money of $US35 million ($51.17million), which doesn’t include endorsements, and a win-loss record of 630-262, she has decided Melbourne, the scene of her greatest career triumph, will also be the scene of her final act.

She revealed in October last year that she has rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition that can cause pain and swelling in the wrist and other joints.

View this post on Instagram

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!

A post shared by Caroline Wozniacki (@carowozniacki) on

“I’ve played professionally since I was 15 years old. In that time I’ve experienced an amazing first chapter of my life,” she wrote on Instagram.

“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.

“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!”

The Australian Open starts on January 20.

-with AAP