After losing her third-round match in Melbourne, Caroline Wozniacki has announced her official retirement from professional tennis. The 2018 Australian Open champion fell to world No. 28, Ons Jabeur, from Tunisia in three sets, knocking her out of the tournament and marking the end of her 15-year career.
In 2019, Wozniacki announced that the 2020 Australian Open would be her final tournament, and she would retire in order to spend more time with her family. Wozniacki was also diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in October of 2018 but has said that her decision to retire does not have to do with her physical health. In an Instagram post announcing her eventual retirement, Wozniacki said, “there is a lot more in life that [she]’d like to accomplish off the court.” For example, in her retirement, she hopes to help raise awareness about the disease which she struggles with herself.
While her retirement didn’t come as a shock to the tennis world because of her preliminary announcement, her absence on the tour will surely create waves in women’s tennis.
Though she retired with the world No. 37 ranking, Wozniacki had previously held the No. 1 spot for 71 weeks after first reaching the top slot in 2010. She also appeared in three Olympics, holding the flag for Denmark in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. In 2018, she finally secured her first and only Grand Slam title at the Australian Open after appearing in 43 Grand Slam tournaments and three major finals throughout her career.
Though not as decorated or internationally acclaimed as players such as Serena Williams, who currently holds 23 Grand Slam titles (just one championship away from Margaret Court’s 24-title record), or Maria Sharapova, who has dominated in both singles and doubles, Wozniacki has undoubtedly made her mark on the women’s tour.
At 29, Wozniacki has made it past the average mark for player retirement age. With tennis producing one of the shortest career length averages in all of sports, most players retire at 27. However, some of the more enduring players — such as Serena Williams who is 38-years-old — last much longer on the court.
Wozniacki also overwhelmingly surpassed the average career prize money for tennis players. Average earnings fall around the $300,000 mark, while Wozniacki’s numerous Grand Slam appearances and tournament wins earned her over $26 million throughout her career, putting her at No. 6 on the list of all-time tennis player earnings.
Caroline Wozniacki’s presence on the world’s tennis stage will be sorely missed. However, in her own words, “this isn’t a goodbye.” Though she has expressed no plans to return to professional tennis again in the future, fans can seemingly expect to follow her journey off of the court, which she has promised to continue sharing with them.