Caroline Wozniacki to retire from tennis after the Australian Open

Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki will retire after the Australian Open to focus on different challenges in life, including starting a family.

The Dane, who won the Australian Open in 2018, is only 29 and does not turn 30 until July next year.

But she has decided Melbourne, the scene of her greatest career triumph, will also be the scene of her final act.

Wozniacki wants to start a family with husband and former NBA star David Lee, while travelling the world raising awareness about rheumatoid arthritis.

"I've played professionally since I was 15 years old. In that time I've experienced an amazing first chapter of my life," she wrote on Instagram.

"With 30 WTA singles titles, a world #1 ranking for 71 weeks, a WTA Finals victory, 3 Olympics, including carrying the flag for my native Denmark, and winning the 2018 Australian Open Grand slam championship, I've accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court.

"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 realised that there is a lot more in life that I'd like to accomplish off the court.

"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.

"So with that, today I am announcing that I will be retiring from professional tennis after the Australian Open in January. This has nothing to do with my health and this isn't a goodbye, I look forward to sharing my exciting journey ahead with all of you!

"Finally, I want to thank with all my heart, the fans, my friends, my sponsors, my team, especially my father as my coach, my husband, and my family for decades of support! Without all of you I could have never have done this!"

A prodigious junior talent, Wozniacki found immediate success on the WTA Tour and reached her first grand slam final at the US Open in 2009 as a teenager.

A year later she climbed to world number one for the first time but a slam title remained elusive until last January, when she defeated Simona Halep in the final in Melbourne.

That victory saw her return to the top of the rankings but she only stayed there for four weeks and at the end of the season she revealed she had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

Last season was a struggle, with Wozniacki failing to win a title for the first time since 2007 and sliding to 37th in the rankings.

A popular player with peers and fans, the Dane, who won 30 singles titles, will be remembered as one of the foremost names of her generation.

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