BEIJING, China - World No.2 Caroline Wozniacki didn't know what to expect from herself when she landed in the Chinese capital for the final Premier Mandatory event of the season, but the reigning Australian Open champion laid down a perfect run to the China Open title, winning her third title of the season. For the first time in over seven years, Wozniacki did not lose a set during a championship run, tallying the 30th title of her career.
Wozniacki joined the WTA Insider Podcast after her 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Anastasija Sevastova in Sunday's final to reflect not just on her week in Beijing, but also on her last 12 months, which have seen her win the Australian Open, the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore, and her first Premier Mandatory since 2011.
Listen to the full interview on the newest episode of the WTA Insider Podcast below:
Wozniacki on her Beijing title-run:
"I think at the beginning of the week, I wasn't feeling great, like tennis-wise, just body-wise. But I got through the first match. I played Bencic, who is a tricky opponent. Then playing Martic, who is also a tricky opponent, big serves. I felt after that match I kind of got my rhythm, I felt like I was playing better.
"Then I played Kontaveit, who had been playing really well, played really aggressively. I think we both played high-level tennis. After that, I'm like, Okay, wow, I'm really playing well. I'm seeing the ball well now. I feel great. Why not? Why shouldn't I be able to do it?"
"Right after the match, I really got to just look back and be like, Wow, this has been an incredible year, no matter what. And even though I had a tough little stretch there, Singapore, Australian Open, Eastbourne and here, I couldn't ask for much more. I think I can be really proud of that.
"I think just my persistence and my fighting, there's been a lot of things going on, so I think I'm just really, really proud. I'm probably most proud of this happening right now for just a bunch of reasons. And to be here today and having won this big title really, really means a lot to me."
Wozniacki on the characteristics of a champion:
"You have to have the passion. You have to have the winning spirit and mentality. And you have to be willing to work hard because there will be players out there that are more talented than you, that have a better forehand or a better backhand or whatever it may be. I think it's a lot in the head, especially in an individual sport. It's just how you handle the situations when it gets tight or when you have a lead or if you're behind.
"For me, it's just very mental in how I just kind of try to figure things out along the way. And when I play my best, that's when I'm most calm, but at the same time kind of on that edge of you're kind of on the brink of, okay, I want to kill the ball."
"You have to find that balance. That's why sometimes it's hard to find. Sometimes you don't feel like you can't lose because everything is so easy. Sometimes you're like, Gosh, I practiced so hard, and you just can't find it. But that's what makes it worth it, you know. Holding the trophy, it's not so much I won this match, but it's more the preparation and the hard work and the grind to get there. I think that's what makes it so special."
Wozniacki on her celebration plans:
"I already called my mom, and she doesn't live very far. My mom and dad don't live very far from me. And I told her I really want some of her home-cooked food. So she was like, I will happily do that for you.
"I sound like a little kid, but my mom's food is the best. And I am so excited to come home and then walk over to my parents', then she'll make this amazing food that I've been missing.
"I want red chicken curry with rice, and she does some amazing meatballs with potatoes, and they're so good. Those are two dishes that I asked for."