|Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 28 August-10 September|
|Protection: Every day dwell textual content and radio commentaries throughout the BBC Sport web site, app, BBC Radio 5 Stay and 5 Sports activities Additional|
When Caroline Wozniacki waved farewell to the skilled tennis circuit in January 2020, the retiring former world primary genuinely thought that was it.
For a protracted whereas after her emotional goodbye – which noticed the Australian Open crowd serenade her with Neil Diamond’s anthemic ‘Candy Caroline’ – Wozniacki didn’t even know the place her racquets have been.
The hearth reignited shortly after the 33-year-old gave start to her second little one final October, resulting in the announcement in June she would return to the WTA Tour.
After enjoying in Montreal and Cincinnati, she springs again to Grand Slam motion on the US Open on Monday.
“I did not play for a really very long time. I did not miss it,” stated Wozniacki, who received the 2018 Australian Open title and spent 71 weeks because the world’s main participant.
“I performed since I used to be very, very younger. It has been a part of my life and my way of life for thus lengthy. I wanted a break.”
The Dane had been identified with rheumatoid arthritis 18 months earlier than she stop, however had additionally made it clear she needed to “obtain different issues in life”.
Wozniacki had enrolled at Harvard Enterprise Faculty and deliberate to discover the world in what she described as a “slam-packed” diary.
A belated honeymoon together with her husband David, the previous NBA basketball star she married in 2019, took in Australia and New Zealand earlier than the pair climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and likewise hiked via the Polish mountains.
Then, a 12 months after Wozniacki retired, she introduced she was pregnant together with her first little one and gave start to daughter Olivia in June 2021.
The household was prolonged additional with the arrival of a son, James, final October.
Shortly after his start, she discovered the racquets.
“I began simply lacking the cardio facet. I am going to all the time love the sport, regardless of if I am 33 or if I will be 80,” stated Wozniacki, forward of enjoying Russian qualifier Tatiana Prozorova within the night session on Louis Armstrong Stadium.
“I hope I am all the time going to be match sufficient that if I need to go on the market and hit some balls, play some doubles or no matter, that will be a chance with my buddies.
“It simply occurred to be that I felt like I used to be hitting the ball extraordinarily effectively, that I nonetheless am younger sufficient to present it one other shot.
“You solely dwell as soon as, so why not?
“If you have a look at your self and you’re feeling such as you nonetheless have an opportunity to do one thing actually cool and actually good, then you’ve got to take the possibility.
“You by no means know when you do not strive it.”
One of many defining options of Wozniacki’s profession has been her competitiveness and unwavering want to show individuals flawed.
Think about that journey, step-by-step.
- Rising from a small Nordic nation with no tennis historical past to change into one of the best participant on this planet.
- Remodelling her sport to lastly land what had been an elusive Grand Slam title when most had written off her possibilities.
- Persevering with to play on the highest stage regardless of the rheumatoid arthritis – a persistent autoimmune illness – inflicting painful irritation in her joints.
Now Wozniacki, who’s assured her physique will maintain up, is trying to defy the chances once more and pose a problem to the youthful era now main the WTA Tour.
This isn’t meant to be a one-off return, with Wozniacki planning to play a fuller schedule in 2024.
Inspiration will also be drawn by seeing a number of of her friends – together with shut good friend Serena Williams – having returned to the highest after having youngsters.
“I am proud that there are fairly a couple of mums on tour which have paved the way in which for the long run era.,” stated Wozniacki.
“It is attainable to take a break, have a household, then come again. The ladies have confirmed which you can nonetheless play at a really, very excessive stage.
“I realise that I am not that younger any extra. However you could have older gamers.
“I am having fun with being right here within the second. I did not suppose three years in the past that I used to be going to be right here, so that is superior.”