Ex-World Number One Wozniacki Announces Return To Tennis

Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki reacts after a point against Belgium’s Elise Mertens during their women’s singles semi-finals match on day 11 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 25, 2018. SAEED KHAN / AFP


Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki announced Thursday she is set to return to professional tennis, three years after retiring to start a family.

Wozniacki, 32, bowed out in 2020 after winning 30 WTA titles including her sole Grand Slam triumph at the Australian Open in 2018.

“Over these past three years away from the game I got to make up for lost time with my family, I became a mother and now have two beautiful children I am so grateful for,” Wozniacki said on Twitter.

“But 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!”

Wozniacki has two children with former NBA player David Lee, two-year-old Olivia and James, born last October.

“I’m going to play the US Open,” she wrote in an article in Vogue Magazine.

“There’s just an electric atmosphere in New York that I can’t get enough of, and I’ve played so well there for years and years.

“Also, David was a New York Knick for five seasons — we both love it there.”

The Dane said she would “start out playing in Montreal just to get back into the groove” from August 7-13 and then head to New York, where she was twice a finalist.

“After that, I’ll have a couple of months to prepare for Australia, and we’ll take it from there. The Paris Olympics are definitely a goal too.”

‘See what happens’

Wozniacki reached world number one for the first time in 2010, and retired after the Australian Open in 2020 as she battled rheumatoid arthritis.

Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka are among the players to have returned to the circuit after having a baby.

“I want to prove that you can have both,” she said. “You can be thrilled with your family and with everything at home and still have a career — and be great at it.”

Williams reached four Grand Slam finals after returning while Clijsters won three — two US Open trophies and the Australian Open.

Close friend Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam winner, has been a source of inspiration.

“I think that Serena doesn’t get nearly enough credit for getting to so many Grand Slam finals after having Olympia,” Wozniacki wrote.

“Her retirement will always be bittersweet, both for me and for so many other players, because she’s meant so much to women’s tennis.

“She paved the way for so many of us — she showed us that anything is possible.

“Serena and I had dinner a few weeks ago, and when I told her my plan she just said, ‘Wow — good for you. I’m going to cheer you on every step of the way, and if you ever need anything, I’m here’. She’s always been there for me.”

She added: “Am I nervous? Not really. I’m coming back to something I love.

“Can I win the US Open? I think so. Can I win the Australian Open? I think so. That’s why I’m doing this. And I guess we’ll see what happens.”

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