plus – Caroline’s 10-minute abs and 5-minute legs
By Erin Bried
This month, Caroline Wozniacki will fly from her home in Monaco to Australia in an attempt to fulfill her wildest dream: “I want to win a grand slam,” she says. Now, more than at any other time in her career, the 24-year-old Dane is poised to do it. She’s fine-tuned her trademark backhand with the help of her coach (and dad), Piotr, and trainer, Przemyslaw Piotrowicz. She has the support of her tennis powerhouse friends, including Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic. And she is in the best shape of her life, both physically and mentally. “That’s one of my strongest points,” she says. “No matter the score, I always fight until the end. I never give up.”
A victory at the Australian Open, the first grand slam tournament of 2015, could usher in a triumphant new era for Wozniacki, who spent 2014 showing us not only how hard she can play but also how strong, centered and optimistic she can remain, even during trying times. “Honestly, 2014 was a very up-and-down year,” she says. “There’s been big happiness, and sadness as well.” The joyful parts were plentiful: making it to the final round of the U.S. Open, earning $3.4 million in prize money and scoring a front-row seat at New York Fashion Week. As for the sadness, she’s referring to a very public breakup with her fiancé, golfer Rory McIlroy, who suddenly ended their three-year relationship just days after their wedding invitations were mailed. “It came as a bit of a shock,” Wozniacki says, sounding remarkably even-keeled. “But everything happens for a reason.”
The period that followed began what Wozniacki describes as “a hard time.” In her first postbreakup match at the French Open, she was ousted in the first round. But at the same time she lost a fiancé, she strengthened a friendship. “When Serena [Williams] heard about the breakup, she kept calling me, but I didn’t pick up. I didn’t even want to look at my phone,” says Wozniacki. “Then she texted me: ‘If you do not pick up now, I’m going to fly to you, and if you don’t open your door, I’m going to kick it open and I’m going to see you.’ So, I picked up,” says Wozniacki, laughing. “I flew straight to Miami, and we had a great time together. She’s an amazing friend and an inspiration to me.” Three months later, with a healed heart and renewed focus on taking on the competition, Wozniacki faced Williams in the finals of the U.S. Open, where Wozniacki came in second place. “You owe drinks later,” Wozniacki told her friend in a postmatch interview, and sure enough, that evening, Williams Instagrammed a pic of the pair out on the town.