The Return of Caroline Wozniacki
By: Nicholas McCarvel
For the first time in four years, 2011 Volvo Car Open champion Caroline Wozniacki is returning to Charleston for what she calls one of her favorite stops on tour. The 26-year-old Dane would like nothing more than to hoist the trophy once again.
“I am back out there and feeling competitive,” Wozniacki said in an exclusive interview. “I always want to hold the trophy in my hand… that’s always my goal. That’s why I compete.”
A former world No. 1 in 2010 and 2011, Wozniacki tumbled in the rankings the next two years, only to find her way to a second Grand Slam final at the 2014 U.S. Open. She made another resurgence in 2016, having missed a good portion of the year with an ankle injury. After a run to the U.S. Open semifinal last September, she won titles in Tokyo and Hong Kong in the fall, bringing her career total to 25.
“I’m just enjoying competing,” said Wozniacki, who was runner up here in 2009 in addition to her 2011 triumph. “Being out for a few months and then having a rough start last year, I really appreciate being healthy and being able to compete. Being out there is what I
work so hard for.”
She started 2017 with a bang, making back-to-back finals in Doha and Dubai. And she made the final just this past weekend in Miami - a first for her and her 45th WTA final overall. She's finish runner-up there to Charleston entry Johanna Konta.
She says the talk of the tour is what a lovely event Charleston is, and can’t wait to return to King Street and its surroundings downtown for a bit of shopping and then a meal out at her favorite local restaurant, Halls Chophouse.
“The shops in the city and the restaurants I love,” she explained. “At the tournament, all the same fans come back every year, so you feel like you get to know everyone. It’s cozy. The island, the water, the golf course…everything is close by. It’s a relaxed atmosphere. All of that together makes for a great event.”
Wozniacki has been to the mountaintop before, but now she’s trying to enjoy the little things on tour and said she’s taking an acting class when she has time in New York, where she has an apartment. The decision to return to Charleston this year “just felt right,” and she said she looks forward to the big crowds on Billie Jean King Stadium Court.
“Having won there in the past and been in the finals, I just have nice memories,” she said. “I feel like I’m going back to a homey event. That’s what I really enjoy. I love this tournament.”