Spare a thought for 'tragic' Caroline, destined for worldwide scrutiny
Published 22/05/2014 | 02:30
Last week, she was renowned as one of the best tennis players in the world, but now she is destined to have the words "sad", "lonely" and "tragic" prefixed to her name for the foreseeable future.
Despite her talent, youth, wealth and beauty she will now be cast in the role of the forlorn and rejected spinster.
Her first public appearance will be dissected with surgical precision – her clothes, appearance and general demeanour being analysed to assess her wellbeing.
Close-up pictures of her left hand will reveal the conspicuous absence of her enormous engagement ring.
Why? Because she's no longer in a relationship and no matter what her professional accomplishments are, that is considered a woman's most important achievement.
Regrettably, it doesn't matter how many Grand Slams she wins in the future, the only thing she can do now to escape this caricature is start seeing someone else.
Then, she will be described as deliriously happy and madly in love while sources close to the new couple will reveal that they are planning their nuptials – before they've even gone on a second date.
You see, it's impossible to appear deliriously happy when you're single because everybody knows that no matter how cheerful you look, you're crying on the inside.
This tedious coverage will, in part, have been prompted by McIlroy whose terse statement about the end of the relationship left no one in any doubt about who had called it quits.
Speaking at the BMW PGA Championship yesterday, McIlroy insisted that the split was "mutual".
But in an earlier statement he said: "The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realise that I wasn't ready for all that marriage entails. The problem is mine."
Or, in other words, Wozniacki was dumped after the 25-year-old golf star got cold feet.
He may have wanted to take responsibility for ending the engagement but perhaps it would have been better to be a little less explicit about the impetus for the split.
The excruciating thought of all the gold-embossed invitations landing in letterboxes all over the world – at the precise moment that McIlroy was insisting, it's not you, it's me – will fuel the media coverage.
Inevitably, he will be portrayed as quickly back on the market and playing the field, with beautiful women desperate to snare him and frogmarch him down an aisle, while she will be depicted as morose, teary and glum.
The end of any relationship is a sad occasion for the people involved but we all share in the misery when antiquated gender stereotypes, that reduce women to the status of love-starved losers, abound.