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It was highly emotional images that were sent out from Melbourne around the world earlier this year. On January 24, Caroline Wozniacki played her last professional tennis match at the age of 29. After her three-set loss to Ons Jabeur, the Dane ended her successful career in the place where she celebrated her greatest triumph two years earlier by winning the Australian Open. Half a year later, on July 11th, Wozniacki is now celebrating its 30th birthday.
We take her special day of honor as an occasion and look back at the career of the Scandinavian, who left a gap on the WTA tour. How popular the one-time Grand Slam winner is with tennis fans was shown on the said January day in the full Melbourne Arena. With tears in her eyes, she let herself be celebrated by the Australian audience to the sounds of "Sweet Caroline" and did a lap of honor.
At the age of 15, Wozniacki already played professional matches
"A long journey has come to an end and now I'm looking forward to what comes next," said Wozniacki after her third round match. The first world number one from Denmark (71 weeks at the top) started with professional tennis at the age of 15 - 15 years later it ended.
In order to immediately nip all rumors in the bud, Wozniacki had announced her retirement via Instagram that her retirement had no health reasons. The assumption was obvious, after all, in 2018 the Dane made public that she was suffering from "Rheumatoid Arthritis" - a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints that restricted mobility. "I achieved everything I could only dream of on the court," said Wozniacki, saying goodbye.
Better late than never: The Danish Grand Slam title
Ultimately, it was this Australian Open win that made her career perfect. For a long time she had to put up with the criticism that she had never won a Grand Slam tournament despite her interim number 1 placement. Eight years after Wozniacki had climbed the top for the first time, she was able to overcome this flaw in the final with a 7: 6, 3: 6, 6: 4 against Simona Halep.
In total, Wozniacki won 30 tournaments, including her triumph at the 2017 WTA Finals. While the round of 16 at Wimbledon and the quarter-finals at the French Open was the greatest feeling, she was close to the big coup twice at the US Open. In 2009 the Belgian Kim Clijsters (5: 7, 3: 6) prevented the Danish tennis party, in 2014 she lost against Serena Williams (3: 6, 3: 6). Nevertheless: Wozniacki is and remains a Grand Slam winner, nobody can take that away from her - just as little as the title "Denmark's Sportswoman of the Year", which was awarded to her twice (2010 and 2018).
(Image © imago images / ZUMA Press)
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