CAROLINE Wozniacki's preparations for the Australian Open are in tatters after she was bundled out of the Brisbane International by the world Number 103.
Wozniacki's defeat to Ksenia Pervak completed a disastrous 12 months in which the Dane relinquished the Number 1 ranking and failed to threaten at any of the major championships.
With her superstar boyfriend Rory McIlroy looking on, the world Number 10 started strongly but wilted as Pervak, a 21-year-old qualifier on the comeback trail from a serious pelvic injury, committed 61 unforced errors but still completed a 2-6 6-3 7-6 (7-1) victory for her first win against a top 10 player.
"Had a lot of long rallies and a lot of even games, and it just didn't go my way," she said.
"Obviously it's tough to lose 7-6 in the third. It was a tough match. Could have gone both ways. She just went for it and it went in for her. Hopefully I can get some more matches in Sydney and be more prepared for Melbourne."
Wozniacki said knee troubles had hampered her during the year.
"You know, I'm still 10 in the world," she said. "Just the most important thing is that you're healthy. I had some struggles with my health. Obviously that makes a difference.
"But as long as I'm healthy and I can fight and be competitive, that is the most important thing.
"You play the sport you love to do, and obviously it's more fun when you're winning. Right now in these situations it's not so much fun. There is always the next week - I guess that's the good part about tennis."
Wozniacki, sporting a ring on her wedding finger, downplayed speculation she was engaged to golfer McIlroy, who was among the spectators on Monday.
"It was a Christmas present and it fit on this finger," she said. "I put it on, and all of a sudden I hear that I'm engaged. I'm not. It's already twice we've had to shut down engagement rumours.
"Don't worry, we will let you know if that time happens. We're just taking one day at a time."
The Australian Open begins on January 14.