Caroline Wozniacki career ends with loss to Ons Jabeur at Australian Open

BBC

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Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki saw her hugely impressive career come to a close as she went out in the Australian Open third round.

Wozniacki, 29, revealed her intention to retire in November, fittingly calling time at the venue where she won her only Grand Slam title.

Now ranked 36th, Wozniacki’s 15-year career ended with a 7-5 3-6 7-5 defeat by Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur.

“It has been a great ride,” said the emotional Dane on Melbourne Arena.

“It is fitting my last match would be a three-setter, a grinder, and I’d finish my career with a forehand error – those are the things I have been working on my whole career,” joked Wozniacki.

“I guess it was meant to be.”

Wozniacki bows out having spent 71 weeks as the world number one, lifted 30 WTA titles and accumulated almost £27m of prize money.

Most significantly, she will always have that coveted Grand Slam title next to her name in the history books.

That came at the third time of asking, following two US Open final defeats, when she beat Simona Halep in the 2018 final at Melbourne Park to complete her “dream”.

Wozniacki was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2018, although she has said that was not the sole reason behind her decision to retire.

She will “work on” the autoimmune disease which causes pain and inflammation in joints post-playing, but has also made it clear she wants to “achieve other things in life”.

Wozniacki has also enrolled at Harvard Business School and says she has a “slam-packed” diary over the next six months.

Her plans include going skiing with her family, a couple of “girls trips” and a belated honeymoon with her husband David, the former NBA basketball star who she married in June last year.

‘I don’t know how to say goodbye to you’ – players pay tribute

Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur: “Congrats on an amazing career. It was an honour to share the court with you today.

“Your fighting spirit has always inspired me and I wish you all the best in this next chapter of your life. You’ll be missed but I’m sure we will see you around.”

Canada’s 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard: “Just shed a few tears. Happy retirement!”

Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova: “Seeing the family of Caroline and her cry made me so emotional uff! Congrats on such a great career and wishing you all the best in your next chapter!”

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