After a viral illness kept her from competing in the Middle East, former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki caught up with her Netflix queue and is starting to solve the mystery of her 2019 season thanks to a first win at the Hard Rock Stadium.
David Kane
March 23, 2019

MIAMI, FL, USA - Sidelined for most of the last two months with a viral illness, former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki was left to hone her investigative skills as she binge-watched some of the most popular movies and docuseries of the last 18 months.

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"The Bodyguard was very good," she said after a straightforward win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich at the Miami Open. "I watched Bird Box, which was amazing. I loved that. Shout out to the Danish director, Susanne Bier. I have watched Making a Murderer. We started The Jinx. We watched the Ted Bundy series.

"We're on the criminal thing here. I find it intriguing."

"Finally the last week or so, I really feel like I'm starting to hit the ball well in practice. Hopefully that's going to transfer into a match and it's just going to get better."
Caroline Wozniacki

Wozniacki is fresh off solving the mystery involving her own health after suffering symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, announcing the diagnosis last fall at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. She nonetheless continued to feel under the weather due to different issues in the Middle East, withdrawing from the Qatar Total Open and the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

"I feel like it's definitely not been the greatest start to the year health-wise for me," she explained on Friday. "I'm just really thankful I can be out there and play and compete. All I can do right now is just try and get the matches under my belt, try to play better.

"Finally the last week or so, I really feel like I'm starting to hit the ball well in practice. Hopefully that's going to transfer into a match and it's just going to get better."


Wozniacki played her first match since January at the BNP Paribas Open and after taking a tough loss to the hard-hitting Ekaterina Alexandrova, Miami is her last opportunity to end the hardcourt season on a high note.

"It's hard when you're in bed most of the time through Doha, Dubai. I expect a lot out of myself. Going to play Indian Wells and basically not having practiced for a month, I still wanted to play well. I thought I played pretty decent compared to how much I'd been able to practice. I was proud of my fight.

"I just have to keep putting myself out there and I have to keep just doing my best. That's really all I can ask of myself right now. Hopefully tomorrow is going to be better. That's all I can do."

Caroline Wozniacki, Miami Open, Miami

She showed major improvements over Sasnovich, making it 3-0 against the dangerous Belarusian without much incident - certainly none as memorable when Wozniacki mysteriously managed to tangle her racquet in her ponytail during their first encounter at the 2014 US Open.

"It's happened quite a bit. I remember that," she laughed. "I don't know why it happens, but I have periods where it will happen like once a week. Then I have periods where it doesn't happen at all for, like, a year.

"I've thought maybe it's the length of my hair. Then I cut it and you know what? It keeps happening. I cut it by this much at one point."

She pauses, to gesture just how short.

"It kept happening. Maybe it's my technique that needs to be changed. I don't know what it is."

Caroline Wozniacki, Miami Open, Miami

One change the 2017 finalist has enjoyed is the tournament's new venue, even if it might lack the nostalgia of playing on the last decade on Key Biscayne.

"What I'm positively surprised about is the center court. I didn't know how it was going to look having a tennis court inside of the big football stadium. Every time I've played an exhibition in big stadiums like that, it's always felt a little different, a little maybe strange.

"I think they've done a great job with that. I think they've done a great job with expanding the food area and stuff so there's more space. The locker rooms are nicer.

"I think there us pluses and minuses to putting it out here. Obviously this is the first year being here. I'm sure they're going to keep adding stuff to this venue year after year. Maybe putting up some trees, doing something like that, would also help with being here."

Wozniacki will get some much-needed familiarity - even a dash of mystery - in her next match against Monica Niculescu, dropping just one set in her nine previous clashes with the crafty veteran. The two meet again on Sunday, and the Dane will need all of her expert analysis - not to mention her fighting spirit - to make it back into the Round of 16.

"There were games when I felt like I played fine, pretty good, then there were games where I said, 'What am I doing?'" she said of her match with Sasnovich.

"It was a constant battle of just trying to win. Sometimes you just need to fight through."