Caroline Wozniacki French Open Roland Garros 2018

Caroline Wozniacki headlines Australian Open wildcard list

Former champion Caroline Wozniacki has received a wildcard for the Australian Open as she continues her tennis comeback.

Wozniacki is no stranger to the Melbourne sun – with the Danish crowned champion of the 2018 Australian Open.

Last season saw a surprise return to tennis for Wozniacki, who was forced to retire in 2020 due to a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis. That comeback happened on the US hardcourt swing, although she vowed it was just the beginning for her and she’d attempt to make a much bigger splash in 2024.

She will now get the chance to start the year on a high after getting main-draw wild card to the first major of the season along with six other Australian nationals.

Forced farewell

Wozniacki bid farewell to life as a professional tennis player in 2020, citing a need to step away from the court and start a family following her troubles with arthritis.

The Dane and former NBA player David Lee are now the parents of two children, Olivia and James, who are set to accompany their inspirational mother on her return to Melbourne.

After bringing up her children, she spent time working as a TV analyst. But she would find herself drawn back to the courts and eventually announced her return to top-flight tennis.

Caroline Wozniacki return

After over three years on the sideline, Wozniacki returned to action during this year’s North American hard court swing. Early exits at the Montréal and Cincinnati 1000 events were expected, but she then produced a fine display to reach the fourth round of the US Open. The eventual champion, Coco Gauff, ultimately stood in the way of her fairytale return to Grand Slam tennis.

The former world no.1 may just get the fairytale return she is after when she steps onto the courts in Melbourne Park come January. It is a special setting for Wozniacki, whose 2018 triumph remains the only major trophy in her cabinet.

“I have so many wonderful memories of Melbourne, and of course winning the Australian Open is an all-time career highlight,” Wozniacki told Australian Open organisers.

“Melbourne’s one of my most favourite cities in the world, and I can’t wait to share it with my family and kids.

“It’s obviously a tournament I feel extremely comfortable at. I love the balls, I love the court, and I love the fans.

“And I hope that I get a nice welcome back when I see everyone there – and I’m sure I will; it really is a special place.

“I’m truly grateful to everyone for the wildcard and having the opportunity to compete again at the AO in January.”

The other lucky six who have been granted wildcards for the 2024 tournament are Australians James Duckworth, Marc Polmans, Adam Walton, Kimberley Birrell, Olivia Gadecki and Taylah Preston.

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Jerome Coombe, Tennishead Writer, discovered his love for tennis journalism whilst studying languages and playing competitive tennis. He has a vast knowledge of tennis and strives to shed a light on all corners of the sport.