It’s been an emotional Friday at the Australian Open, as Caroline Wozniacki‘s third-round encounter with Ons Jabeur turned out to be that anticipated final match of the Dane’s storied career.
It’s not typical to see a good atmosphere in the losing player’s team, but Caro’s 7-5 3-6 7-5 loss to Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur was special in a way that afterwards everyone emotionally celebrated the 15-year career of the former world No.1 and 2018 Australian Open champion.
It was in December that the 29-year-old informed us that she would retire after Melbourne, fittingly closing her WTA pro chapter at the venue where she won her only Grand Slam title.
Even though there were tears in Caro’s eyes, it was obvious that she was preparing for this moment, so in her post-match interview she was smiling and joking:
It is fitting my last match would be a three-setter, a grinder, and I’d finish my career with a forehand error – those the things I have been working on my whole career.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) January 24, 2020
The match was big for the world No.78 Jabeur, too, as not only did the Tunisian take part in the ending of one of the most prominent WTA careers in the past decade, but she’s also advanced to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time.
Wozniacki leaves professional tennis having spent 71 weeks on top of the WTA rankings, with 30 WTA champion’s trophies in her cabinet and career prize money totalling more than $35 million.
Jabeur’s opponent in the last 16 will be 27th seed Wang Qiang, who shocked Wozniacki’s bestie Serena Williams 6-4 6-7(2) 7-5, so the American’s quest for a 24th Grand Slam singles title goes on. At the 2019 US Open, Williams defeated Wang 6-1 6-0, as the Chinese managed to win just 15 points in the 44-minute match. Today was a much different story.
Since “To lose is really not fun”, Serena will promptly get back to practice, to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself, as she considers she’s made far too many errors for a professional athlete:
I can’t play like that. I literally can’t do that again. That’s unprofessional. It’s not cool.