Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark hits a return during the women's singles second round match against Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine at the 2020 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Wang Jingqiang)
Tennis great, Caroline Wozniacki has hung up the towel on an illustrious career after bowing out in the third round of the Australian Open.
MELBOURNE, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Tennis great, Caroline Wozniacki has hung up the towel on an illustrious career after bowing out in the third round of the Australian Open against Tunisian, Ons Jabeur, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, on Friday.
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark greets spectators after winning the women's singles first round match against Kristie Ahn of the United States at 2020 Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Bai Xuefei)
The Danish former world No. 1 and Grand Slam winner always planned to retire after this tournament and said that the result on the day was irrelevant, compared to the moments that followed.
"I think what happened today was perfect. It was a packed stadium, people were clapping, I had the Danish flag at my back and I had my family there," Wozniacki said after the match.
"I don't think I could have scripted it any better. I think it was the perfect moment."
The now 29-year-old, started her professional career at just 15, going on to become the first player from a Scandinavian country to reach the world's top ranking spot, which she held for a total of 71 weeks.
"I had a dream when I was a kid, I wanted to win a Grand Slam, I wanted to be No. 1 in the world," she said.
"People thought that I was crazy being from a small country, but I made it happen. I worked so hard for it every single day -- I'm very, very proud of that."
As her only Grand Slam title in 2018, Wozniacki said the Australian Open was a good place for her to end, having always enjoyed the event and remembering it as the "happy slam."
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark hits a return during the women's singles semifinal match against Naomi Osaka of Japan at 2019 China Open tennis tournament in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 5, 2019. (Xinhua/Zhang Hongxiang)
Despite being relatively young - compared to her friend and competitor, Serena Williams who at 38 also bowed out of the tournament on Friday - Wozniacki said that playing at the top level carries an incredible cost and that she had her eyes on other pursuits.
"I think any professional tennis player that has played knows how hard it is to get to the top, knows how hard it is to stay at the top," Wozniacki said.
"There's so much that tennis has given me, I've learnt so much, I'm so thankful. But I think life outside of tennis will be equally as exciting." ■