Melbourne – Caroline Wozniacki said she hoped to be remembered as a hard worker who made the locker room a friendlier place as she waltzed into retirement following her third-round loss at the Australian Open on Friday.
Wozniacki’s loss brought down the curtain on a glittering career for one of Denmark’s most successful athletes and she danced around Melbourne Arena with her country’s flag to the strains of “Sweet Caroline” after her match.
She reached her maiden Grand Slam final at the age of 19 at the 2009 U.S. Open but fell at the final hurdle to Belgian Kim Clijsters.
There was constant criticism of her failure to win a Grand Slam, however, with critics deriding her lack of power and grinding style.
She finally put those doubts to rest after winning the Australian Open and returning to the number one ranking in January 2018.
Reflecting on her legacy, Wozniacki said she hoped to be remembered as someone who gave everything on court and a trailblazer for players from countries outside the tennis elite.
“I hope that I will leave some happiness around the locker room.
“Everyone wants to be the best. I hope that I gave some excitement and release and some happiness in the locker room with the chats and the fun talks we’ve had,” she said.
Wozniacki announced her plan to retire last month, saying that she wanted to start a family with her husband, former NBA player David Lee.
“I think there is so much to life.
“I am sure there are going to be times when I wish I was out there playing in Grand Slam finals or semi-finals.
Wozniacki was well-loved by her peers and developed close friendships with some of her greatest rivals, including 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.
An emotional Williams fought back tears as she was asked about her friend’s retirement during her post-match interview on Friday. “I am going to miss her.
“She is one of my best friends in the world. We have a great life for the rest of our lives together, but I am going to miss her out on tour,” Williams said.