Retiring Open champion Wozniacki breaks down after loss
FORMER world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki broken down in tears on Friday after her career ended in a heartbreaking defeat at the Australian Open.
Wozniacki bid an emotional farewell to tennis following a third-round loss to Tunisian trailblazer Ons Jabeur.
The Dane was overcome with emotion when speaking after the match - given the honour of conducting a final post-match interview on the court despite falling 7-5 3-6 7-5.
With a croaky voice thick with emotion, the 2018 Australian Open champion said she hoped she wouldn't cry, before having to wipe away the tears in her eyes.
"Hopefully not cry, I brought the tissues just in case," Wozniacki said at the start of her interview when asked what she would be doing tonight.
"I usually don't cry, so sorry, but these are memories I'll always cherish.
"I really am happy, honestly. I'm really excited for what's to come.
"I'll cherish ... the journey. Its been a great ride. I'm ready for the next chapter. I'm really excited about what's next to come."
"It was only fitting that my last match would be a three-setter, a grinder, and a forehand error. I've been working on those things my whole career. I guess this was just meant to be."
Wozniacki broke down completely and needed a moment to compose herself when mentioning the impact her father, Piotr, also her coach, had on her career.
"Especially my dad, who's coached me all these years," she said before needing to step away from the microphone briefly.
Papa Wozniacki presenting his daughter for the last time 😂 pic.twitter.com/B3H5BgzdXH— LorenaPopa 🕵️♀️🎾 (@popalorena) January 24, 2020
Retirement arrived abruptly for Wozniacki after she was broken while serving to stay in the match at 6-5 in the third set.
Her career was ended when she buried a forehand into the net.
Caroline Wozniacki has a decent claim to the worst challenge of all time. Her decision to stop the point two points from defeat was pretty much a career-ending challenge.— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) January 24, 2020
Wozniacki slammed down a spare ball in her pocket in frustration and marched to the net to shake hands.
She was clearly emotional while she sat in her chair after the match during Jauber's on-court interview.
She then came out to speak to a WTA representative in her last post-match interview.
Wozniacki, unseeded at the Open for the first time since 2008 after slipping to world No.36, had turned back the clock in her first two matches in Melbourne this week.
She admitted she got more than a little emotional when considering that her career was almost over during her second round match.
"I got a little nervous in the end," she said earlier in the week.
"I'm going to do my best to go all the way. For now, it's one down and six to go. I'm ready for it."
Wozniacki was also embroiled in a bitter feud with opponent Dayana Yastremska early in the Open, after accusing the Ukrainian of faking injury in an attempt to unsettle her as she was about to serve for the match in the second round.
Some of the biggest names in tennis farewelled Wozniacki after her third-round loss, in an emotional video on the WTA Twitter page.
"Many, many congratulations on a most amazing career. I was so happy for you when you won the Australian Open and also number one of course - that is the pinnacle of our sport, and you did it all," Roger Federer said.
"I always enjoyed watching you play - you had a lot of battles. We will miss you."
World No.2 Novak Djokovic called Wozniacki a "fantastic" person.
"I don't know how to say goodbye to you. We've know each other for a long time ... we've developed a nice friendly relationship," Djokovic said.
"You're a fantastic person. You've done so much for tennis - you're contribution is very positive to the game, and the game will definitely miss you. I wish you and your husband a wonderful life together."
Spanish legend Rafael Nadal also congratulated the Danish tennis star, labelling her career as "amazing".
"Everybody wants to keep watching you playing tennis. You've had an amazing career, and I just wanted to congratulate you for all the things you have achieved," Nadal.
"I wish you all the best in your personal life."