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Evert speaks with Wozniacki in One- On-One series
Published May 07, 2021
The fifth episode of Chris Evert's recently launched WTA One-On-One series features 2018 Australian Open champion and former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, who opens up about how she got into the game and the many ups and downs of her career.
"To be the best, or to keep being the best, you have to keep improving," Wozniacki said in the conversation with Evert, released earlier this week.
Wozniacki's tennis career wasn't serious at the very beginning, instead just a way to get her out of the house and channel her childhood energy into athletics. The Dane played soccer, gymnastics and even swimming. In the end, she chose to continue growing her tennis game, the sport she found most fun.
At 20 years old, she defeated Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals of the China Open, which would propel her to the No. 1 spot.
Although it was a lifelong dream of the Dane's, the feat came with it a tinge of sadness. After a grand celebration and receiving a flower arrangement shaped as the number one, she quickly realized being No. 1 wasn't too different from being No. 100.
"I get on the practice court and my dad goes, 'Move your feet, faster racquet speed, get up to the ball,' I'm like, 'Hold on, so nothing really changed?' I'm No. 1 in the world but nothing really changed, it's still the same thing."
In that moment it hit her that this sport is all about the journey, the long hours spent on the practice court and playing through titanic matches. Wozniacki would go on to be the year-end world No. 1 for two seasons in a row, nowadays a rare accomplishment on the WTA tour.
"I enjoyed the pressure. I think I played my best under pressure and I think I bring my A-game when it really counts. So, I think it was something that I just really enjoyed, I enjoyed being in that position," she said.
Wozniacki also spoke about her fairytale finish at the 2018 Australian Open. Once she completed the task of winning a Grand Slam event, her resume was complete in her eyes, and thoughts of retiring would begin to creep in.
"In my head I would never feel like I was ready to retire until I had my Grand Slam. That was kind of the last thing that I felt that I needed, and I felt like I deserved to give myself a chance to get one. I don't think I would have retired without really going all in for that Slam."
Spanning nearly half an hour, the conversation was full of exciting tid-bits about Wozniacki's journey both on and off the court.
Evert's series continues next week with an all-new episode.