Tennis Pro, SI Swimsuit Model Caroline Wozniacki Announces Return to Court

The former World No. 1 singles champ will compete in the 2023 U.S. Open three years after her retirement.
Caroline Wozniacki.

Caroline Wozniacki.

Caroline Wozniacki is making a comeback. The former World No. 1, who spent 71 weeks in the WTA’s top spot, announced her return to professional tennis in an essay for Vogue.

The 32-year-old Denmark native left the sport three years ago. She shares two young kids, Olivia and James, with her husband, former NBA player David Lee.

“Three years ago, having achieved almost everything I’d ever set out to do, I walked away from the professional tour. I wanted to start a family, and I needed a break. I had no idea how long that break would last,” she wrote. “But then, one day late last year, I found myself setting up a couple of sessions on the court. And when my dad visited me in Florida, I realized I needed advice. I hit for 20, 30 minutes—I’m not sure how long, but at one point I looked at him and said, ‘I feel like I’m hitting it better than I ever have. Am I making that up?’ He said I wasn’t making that up. And that’s when I knew I had to get back out there.”

Wozniacki became the first Danish tennis player to hold a Grand Slam singles title after winning the Australian Open in 2018. She played her last match in ’20 at Melbourne Park and announced her retirement right before the tournament. When she lost to Ons Jabeur in the third round, the entire stadium sang “Sweet Caroline.”

“It was emotional. It was bittersweet,” she shared. “But at the same time, I knew it was the right thing for me.”

Wozniacki added that part of her reason for returning is to prove that being a professional athlete and having a family aren’t mutually exclusive for women. She understands that it’s incredibly difficult to do both, but wants to join legendary players like Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Kim Clijsters in proving that it is possible.

The three-time SI Swimsuit model added that she’s not nervous since she is returning to a sport she loves so deeply and has succeeded in before. She’s not going to make bold predictions or promises, she’s just showing up, believing in herself and giving tennis her best.

“Over these past three years away from the game I got to make up for lost time with my family, I became a mother and now have two beautiful children I am so grateful for,” she wrote on Instagram. “But I still have goals I want to accomplish. I want to show my kids that you can pursue your dreams no matter your age or role. We decided as a family it’s time. I’m coming back to play and I can’t wait!”

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Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.