MELBOURNE, Australia - Caroline Wozniacki has done her best to keep things normal as she prepares for the final tournament of her career at the 2020 Australian Open.
The 29-year-old former No.1 announced in December that she would make one last trip to Melbourne before hanging up her racquet. That the Dane would choose Melbourne Park as her final farewell is understandable. Rod Laver Arena was the site of her maiden major title two years ago, where she upended Simona Halep to win the 2018 Australian Open and finally check off the one box missing on her long list of career achievements.
Now ranked No.35, Wozniacki is scheduled to play No.92 Kristie Ahn in the first round on Monday.
"So far I've just approached it like any other tournament," Wozniacki said during her pre-tournament press conference. "But obviously it's different since it's my last one.
"I'm just enjoying being out there. I've had some great practice sessions. I've done everything I could to prepare as well as I can for this tournament, then hope for the best."
"I'm sure once the last ball is hit, it's going to be a bit emotional.
Wozniacki played her final WTA event last week at the ASB Classic in Auckland, where she bowed out in the semifinals to Jessica Pegula but made the final in doubles with Serena Williams.
The Dane, whose accomplished career includes 30 career titles, over $35 million in prize money, and 71 weeks at No.1, said she had been wrestling with the decision for some time and says 'it just felt right'.
"I've achieved a lot," Wozniacki said. "I've given it my all. Every single day I go out and I work so hard to stay at the top or to get back to the top, whatever it may be.
"It doesn't feel the same. I still want to work hard, but I want to do something different. I want to try and achieve something else, some other things in life.
"Life is short. I know that the tennis career is short. There's plenty of time outside to do whatever I want. At the same time, you just have to go with what feels right.
"I'm out here, and I love the sport, I love everything that it's given me, I love being out there and competing, but I'm ready to start a new chapter in my life."
As she prepares to close the book on her career, Wozniacki says she has no regrets.
"I've worked so hard my whole life, my whole career," Wozniacki said. "I've given it literally everything that I have to reach where I got.
"Can you go back and say, Had I done this thing differently or this thing differently, maybe.
"At the end of the day, every single day I showed up, in practice and in matches, and I gave it my all.
"That's why I can look back at my career and say I'm very proud of everything that I've achieved, very proud of the ups and the downs. But especially to be able to just continually push myself to be a better player, I feel like I've given a lot to the sport that I can be very proud of."