FLASHBACK: Wozniacki made a winning return to action at the Omnium Banque Nationale.


NEW YORK—Caroline Wozniacki can’t quite decide if daughter Olivia is her biggest fan or future rival as her eldest child throws herself into tennis ahead of her US Open comeback.

“Yesterday I was trying to get Olivia outside after she woke up in the morning,” recalled the former No. 1, who played her first tournament since 2020 earlier this summer at the Omnium Banque National. “From basically the moment she woke up, she goes, ‘Mama, mama, did you remember?’ I was like, ‘What?’ ‘Did you bring the tennis balls back?’

“I actually forgot! Thankfully my dad had gotten some of those softer ones. We were there basically in the hotel room until lunch because she wouldn't stop playing tennis. That was interesting.”

Born within a year of the 2018 Australian Open champion’s decision to end her first career, little Olivia has, according to her mom, become “obsessed” with the game. Not even three years old, how long before we see Wozniacki presiding over her first lesson?

“This morning before I went on site as well, she said, ‘Mommy, mommy, can I go with you to work? I want to be like you. I want to play tennis.’

“Those are cute things. I said, ‘We can play tennis in the afternoon.’ I already know what my plans are this afternoon: getting my reps in!”

That enthusiasm and adaptability from Olivia and young son James has only strengthened the Dane’s resolve to re-enter the tennis circuit.

“It's so easy for them,” said Wozniacki, who married husband David Lee in 2019. “We went to Montréal and in two days they weren't jet-lagged anymore. They were ready to go, which was really cool to see. I think that's the biggest challenge, just kind of managing that!

“At the same time, it's bringing me so much joy to have the whole family and everyone here. For me to be able to focus 100% on my tennis, but then also being able to go home in the afternoon or after a match or even to see them quickly in the morning if I have a match in the afternoon, just seeing them for a little bit, it just brings so much calmness to my everyday life.

“I think as I progress into playing more and more, that's what can make a big difference for me. Also, when I'm on court, I know that I'm 100% on court, giving it my all when I'm there. When I'm with the kids, that's what matters most to me at that point.”

Accepting a wild card into the US Open, Wozniacki will make her official return to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center against a qualifier, with a possible second-round meeting with Petra Kvitova looming thereafter.