Former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis before the US Open.
The 28-year-old reigning Australian Open champion revealed the news after the conclusion of her WTA season, which ended with a 5-7, 7-5 6-3 loss to No.7 Elina Svitolina in the final round of group play at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
“In the beginning, it was a shock, just you feel like you’re the fittest athlete out there, or that’s in my head, that’s what I’m known for, and all of a sudden you have this to work with,” Wozniacki told reporters.
“Yeah, it is what it is, and you just have to be positive and work with it, and there are ways that you can feel better so that’s great.”
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“It’s been a lot to just take in. After the US Open, I just kind of had to figure out what really was going on. So that’s when I really figured it out. I went to see one of the best doctors that there is and, you know, start treatment.
“You know, at the end of the day, it’s obviously not ideal for anybody, and I think when you’re a professional athlete, it’s also not even more ideal, but at the end of the day, you find a plan, figure out what to do, you do your research, and thankfully there are great things now that you can do to it and do about it.
“You just kind of move on from it and work through it and figure out how to deal with it and live with it. That’s that.
I’m very proud of how I have been so positive through it all and just kind of tried to not let that hinder me.”
Wozniacki told reporters she began feeling fatigue after Wimbledon and woke up one morning in Montreal unable to lift her arms over her head and retired from her opening match in Cincinnati.
After talking to doctors, Wozniacki was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes swelling of the joints and fatigue. She says she’s happy to have caught it early.
“I think I didn’t want to talk about it obviously during the year because I don’t want to give anyone the edge or thinking that I’m not feeling well, but I have been feeling well,” Wozniacki said.