Caroline Wozniacki’s career ends with third-round loss to Ons Jabeur

By Eleanor Crooks, PA Tennis Correspondent, Melbourne
PA Media: Sport

Caroline Wozniacki’s career came to an end with a third-round loss to Ons Jabeur at the Australian Open.

The Dane announced last month that the scene of her greatest triumph, when she broke her grand slam duck in 2018, would also be the stage for her professional farewell at the age of 29.

Wozniacki battled to an excellent win over fast-rising teenager Dayana Yastremska in the second round and surely had her sights set on a fourth-round clash with great friend Serena Williams.

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But Tunisia’s Jabeur had other ideas and her 7-5 3-6 7-5 victory made her the first Arab woman to reach the fourth round at a grand slam.

Wozniacki looked like she had turned things around when she won the second set and then recovered from 0-3 in the third but Jabeur had not read the script.

Wozniacki held serve once to stay in the match but on the second occasion she went behind and an ill-judged HawkEye challenge set up a match point.

A forehand over the baseline was the final act, and Wozniacki managed a joke through tears as she stepped up for a farewell interview.

“I think it was only fitting that my last match would be a three-setter, a grinder, and that I would finish my career with a forehand error,” she said of the stroke that has probably stopped her winning more major titles.

Asked about her memories, Wozniacki said: “There’s so many things, obviously the achievements I had on court were amazing, the fans, the support I’ve had from my family, especially my Dad, who’s coached me all these years.

“Those are special memories that I’ll always cherish. It’s been a great ride. I really am happy, I’m ready for the next chapter and I’m really excited about what’s to come.”

The big screen played a tribute video from Wozniacki’s friends and competitors – this one significantly more appropriate than the one that tried to propel Andy Murray into premature retirement last year.

Wozniacki was then joined on court by her family, with Dad Piotr hoisting her high in the air.

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