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Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki announced that she would be returning to the tennis court, three years after she retired from playing professionally.
The 2018 Australian Open champion, wrote an essay for the Vogue website, stating that she realized how much she missed the sport after she started spending some time hitting on the tennis court.
“It’s hard to say why, or what changed, but when my dad saw me practice that day, and said, ‘It looks like you’re enjoying it more’ — that was exactly how I felt: I was relaxed and having fun, and somehow that let me see everything more clearly,” Wozniacki said.
The 32-year-old is targeting the Canadian Open in Montreal in August as her first tournament coming back and that she would love to play the US Open in September. The Danish player is a two-time finalist at the Flushing Meadows, most recently in 2014, when she lost to one of her biggest rivals and closest friends, Serena Williams.
Wozniacki was one of the top players in her prime spending a total of 71 weeks as the world No. 1. She has won 30 career titles and besides winning the Australian Open, she won the 2017 WTA Finals event.
Two years after she won the Australian Open, Wozniacki stunned the tennis world by announcing her retirement at the age of 29. She played her last tournament in Melbourne where she ultimately lost in the third round in Melbourne to Ons Jabeur. Teh crowd at the Australian Open gave her standing ovations singing “Sweet Caroline.”
“I’ve accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court,” Wozniacki wrote on Instagram when she announced her retirement. “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.”
Prior to the retirement, Wozniacki was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, but she said that the decision was not based on health issues. However, in her Vogue post, she was candid about the debilitating pain she experienced as a result of the disease.
“My joints had swollen up so painfully because my immune system was in overdrive attacking my body,” Wozniacki told Vogue. “And though I stayed on tour and gutted it out, all I wanted to do was sleep. (At one point, after a match, I slept for 43 out of 48 hours.)
“My rheumatologist and I came up with a plan: I’d take extraordinary care to walk, run, swim — anything, really — just to keep my joints moving; I’d hydrate myself relentlessly and eat a very particular kind of anti-inflammatory diet. It was complicated and precise, but effective — until I reached a point where the entire process became too exhausting: keeping tabs on every single detail of what I ate, how much water I’d been drinking; putting in all the hours, every single day, on the court and in the gym and monitoring my recovery and traveling. That’s when I knew I needed a break.”
After her retirement, Wozniacki worked as a commentator and analyst for ESPN and Tennis Channel, and more importantly, she married former NBA All-Star David Lee, and gave birth to two children.
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