Monday 22 July 2019

Caroline Wozniacki: I could never hate Rory McIlroy - even if I wanted to

The tennis star maintains breaking up with former fiancee has made her a better sportswoman

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark returns a shot to Camila Giorgi of Italy during the Connecticut Open at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark returns a shot to Camila Giorgi of Italy during the Connecticut Open at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale

Linda Stewart

Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki has spoken of how she is a happier and stronger person since her shock split with Rory McIlroy.

The Danish sportswoman's career is on the up again three months after the Holywood golfer broke off their advanced wedding plans.

The 24-year-old is now back up to 11th in the world rankings, and up until a disappointing session last week at the Connecticut Open in New Haven, the only person to have beaten her since Wimbledon was Serena Williams.

Close pal Williams, to whom Wozniacki opened up to about the split has revealed that she has not said a bad word about her former fiance.

"I was like: 'How can you be so nice?' She said: 'I could never hate him. he's been a big part of my life and even if I wanted to I couldn't hate him."

Wozniacki and McIlroy were due to marry in November but split in May, just after the wedding invitations were issued.

At the time McIlroy said he wasn't ready for all that marriage entailed and his skyrocketing career since has only served to confirm his post-split comment that: "I think it has happened to me for the better."

But three months after the break-up, his ex insists she is stronger and happier, with tennis no longer "on the side".

And her extra focus appears to be paying dividends, with an upward career trajectory propelling her back to 11th in the world.

In a interview with the Sunday Times, Wozniacki said: "There are certain things you cannot control in your life and the only thing you can do is make the best of a situation and I'm happy I got in control of things.

"I'm definitely a stronger person and I'm a happier person now."

Ranked No.1 in the world when she started keeping company with the golfing star, Wozniacki had slumped to 18th position just before the May split, and the stress apparently took its toll as she crashed out of the French Open soon afterwards.

But her ranking is now recovering and she is preparing for her eighth US Open, still pursuing a first Grand Slam title after 30 attempts.

"In relationships you give so much into it," she said.

"For a while tennis was on the side but now I have the extra ability to focus on myself again.

"It's helped by the fact I'm injury-free, which hasn't always been the case. Is it possible to have a relationship and still be a successful sportswoman? It's an individual thing but, yes, I think it can be done, absolutely."

Wozniacki is fitter than ever, thanks to the extra training she is undergoing to run the New York Marathon this November, around the time she was originally due to walk down the aisle.

Danish journalist Troels Christensen, who spends much of his time chronicling her career, commented: "Right now, Caro's great. Just in the sense of her general wellbeing and appetite for tennis, she is better than I have seen her for years. Caro is in a very good place."

Rory McIlroy, who is worth an estimated £28m, took his Major championship tally to four this season with victories in the Open and US PGA. He is world No.1 and recently won three tournaments in a row.

The victories came after the Holywood-born golfer cancelled his marriage to Caroline Wozniacki just days after invites to the New York wedding were sent out to 300 guests around the world asking them to attend the three-day event in November.

Belfast Telegraph

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