Caroline Wozniacki, who spent 71 weeks as the No. 1 player in the world, but did not win a Grand Slam event until the twilight of her career, will retire after the Australian Open in January, she said on Friday.
“I’ve played professionally since I was 15 years old,” she said in a statement. “I’ve accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court.”
Wozniacki, 29, also alluded to the goal of having children with her husband, David Lee, a former player for the Knicks.
“Getting married to David was one of those goals and starting a family with him while continuing to travel the world and helping raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis (project upcoming) are all passions of mine moving forward,” Wozniacki wrote.
Wozniacki revealed last year that she had received a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that can cause joint pain and stiffness and problems with mobility. Earlier this year, she said, “There are days I wake up and don’t feel great, and when that happens, I’m still going to go out there and do my thing, but I’m going to taper it down.” But she said Friday her decision to retire was not for reasons of health.
Though she was the world’s top-ranked player in 2010-2012, and reached No. 1 again in 2018, Wozniacki won only one Grand Slam event. A victory at the 2018 Australian Open over Simona Halep finally put her among major winners.
She also made two United States Open finals and won 30 Women’s Tennis Association titles. A Dane, she carried her nation’s flag at the 2016 Olympics.
“I’ve always told myself, when the time comes, that there are things away from tennis I want to do more.”
“I wanted to finish at a time when I still felt great. I love the sport and when I leave I still want to love the sport and feel the passion for it,” Wozniacki said on “Good Morning America.”
After taking the 2018 Australian, which broke her major jinx, she said: “I think I had everything else on my résumé. No. 1, year-end championships, big tournaments, 27 titles. I basically have beaten any player that has been playing that is on tour right now. This was the only thing missing, and it means something extra even that it took a little longer, but I still made it here.”
She is currently ranked No. 37 and did not advance beyond the third round in a Grand Slam event this year.