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Caroline Wozniacki 27-01-18 interview

  • Def. Halep 7-6 6-3 6-4

Q. 36 minutes less than the marathon in New York, but was it harder?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: It definitely emotionally was harder. It was such a tough grind. It was very hot out there. I think both of us were very tired in the end.

At the same time we fought our hardest, and I'm very proud to be here with the trophy.

Q. Is this title more satisfying winning today than if you'd won it earlier in your career because of how long you had to wait?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I don't know. I'm just happy that I won the title. It's really special to start off the year like this. It's incredible. It was a very special moment for me out there on court today.

Q. What were you thinking in the final set? I believe the score was 4-3. Were you nervous?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Honestly, I wasn't nervous. I was probably thinking, you know, I had opportunities to go up 3-0 and 4-1, and I didn't take them. She was playing really well. I was thinking, you know, it looks like it may not be my day.

But I was never really nervous at that point. I was just going to go out there and give it my all and swing for it. I was playing aggressively. I think I played well. It could have gone either way today, but I'm happy it went my way.

Q. Did you ever think this moment wouldn't come and you missed your opportunities in those other two?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I don't know. I think you always, at certain points, especially when you start having injuries and stuff, you start maybe doubting if you're ever going to be 100% healthy for longer periods of time.

But I think last year, already for a year and a half, I've proved that I can beat anyone out there on court. When you're in the finals, I'm not going to lie, I was really nervous before going out there on court, but once I kind of settled in and we had the warmup, I was just, like, I have everything to win.

In the end of the day, whatever happens happens. I'm going to go out fighting. If it's not enough today, then it is what it is, but I'm going to be proud of my effort.

Q. Thoughts about the bonus of No. 1 as well?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Obviously that's very special. I think being new Grand Slam champion and world No. 1 sounds pretty good (smiling). I'm very excited for that. It's a dream come true.

Q. Take us through the turnaround, year and a half ago going into the US Open, No. 74, turned it around beautifully. Was New Haven important?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: No, honestly I think just I've been through a lot of injuries at that point. Then you start losing to some players who you're not really thinking you should lose to. It's frustrating.

But in practice, I was hitting it very well. I'm, like, hoping eventually it's going to turn around. I made the semifinals of the US Open. Since then I've been playing really consistent and really well.

Being here tonight as a Grand Slam champion, Australian Open champion, it's very special. Daphne here is going home with me tonight. I'll be cuddling with her, so yeah (smiling).

Q. Does that mean David's out?

Q. The next-to-last point...
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: That was a crazy point. I think we both played very well. I had that backhand cross-court. I knew at that point I have to hit it hard, I have to just go for it cross-court. It went a little shorter than what I had really thought that I was going to do, that wasn't what I was aiming for. I was like, Wow, that's a great shot. I'm going to take it.

Then the last point she played very aggressively. She had a short second serve. I went in and played aggressive. I started off the point that way. Then she was playing aggressive, and I was just trying to fight off, playing it deep. I hit a couple of framed shots.

There's a lot going through your mind at that point. You're like, No, I had an opportunity. I should have hit it a little bit differently.

When I saw that ball go into the net, it was crazy emotional.

Q. Is it something of a relief this time around when you're No. 1? None of us can keep asking you, When are you going to win a Grand Slam?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Honestly, I think that's one of the most positive things about all of this. I'm never going to get that question again. I'm just waiting for the question, When are you going to win the second one?

Right now I'm just happy I have this one, and I'm going to really enjoy this moment.

Q. As a Liverpool fan, you know they've never won the Premier League. What message do you hope this victory sends to them?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Impossible is nothing, so... That's what I have to say. Obviously, you know, I'm sure eventually it will go well for them.

Q. When you look at the match you won against Fett, all those match points, how things can change in life, and then you're here with the trophy.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: From being almost out of the tournament to sitting here with the Australian Open trophy, it's amazing. It's been quite a turnaround, something I'm very proud of.

At the same time, I think it really was a great momentum shift for me going further into the tournament after that.

Q. It was a physically brutal game tonight. Did you consciously or subconsciously reflect or draw on the experiences of those last six miles in the marathon, how you felt there, to what happened tonight?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Honestly not so much. I was thinking, If I am tired right now, I know one of my strengths is my speed, obviously my fitness, I know she's tired, too, so... Every time I was like, Oh, I can't do this anymore, I'm exhausted, and we were playing all these crazy long rallies, I was thinking, Okay, I'm looking over there, she looks a little tired, she must be feeling the exact same way or maybe more tired than me.

Q. Now you're No. 1 and you won the Grand Slam, so obviously nobody is going to say anything about qualifying for the Hall of Fame when you retire. Do you have any feelings what that is going to mean to you?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Well, I hope so. I don't think anything is certain. I think being in the Tennis Hall of Fame would be a dream come true, as well, and a dream for any tennis player.

Q. How was your dad afterwards?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Excited. They're out drinking right now, so they're having a great time (smiling).

Q. Are you joining them after that?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: We'll see. I don't know how long I'm going to be. I'm definitely enjoying the moment. They're celebrating right now. I think I still need to really process in my head.

Q. What do Serena's words mean to you?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, it means a lot to me. Obviously she's a great friend of mine. It means a lot she was supporting and following. She's just the best. It's awesome.

Q. People have talked about saying you need to play a certain kind of way to win a Grand Slam, you weren't playing that way before. Do you think you changed your game in some way that made this milestone possible?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think you keep improving at all times. You try and be better. You try and find ways that you can improve your game. In the end of the day, I think getting older, more experienced, really believing in your abilities, I think that's definitely helped.

Q. Having waited this long, you're not going to retire, are you?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Right now, I'm going to go home and sleep with Daphne and I'm going to enjoy this moment. I'm not really thinking too far forward.

Q. You talked about your nerves. It was an evening match. How tough was that, having a whole day building up to it?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think actually, yeah, I was nervous this morning. I was more nervous yesterday. I was just going through the same routines, just we're going to go out for dinner, all of that. Then this morning, I actually managed to sleep quite a bit.

Yeah, the last few hours before the match, I was like, Okay, let's just get this going. I was coming here probably three hours before the match. Okay, five hours from now, we'll have a winner and we'll know what's happening. I was like, Okay, let's get the warmup going, get a sweat going. That kind of helped.

Once I was out on court, we were warming up, I felt surprisingly very calm. I went out there and just went for it. I wasn't nervous in the first set. I think I got more nervous in the third set, but I was too tired to really think too much about it.

Q. You apologized twice to Simona out there. How badly do you feel for her?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think I knew going into the match that one of us is going to be extremely excited and very happy, and the other one is going to be very disappointed, very sad.

I obviously feel very sad for her, but at the same time, you know, I'm very happy for myself. I can only imagine. I didn't want to think too much about how it would feel to win before the match because that's like in case I don't, it's going to hurt even more. I was kind of trying to think of both scenarios and just really go in calm and just try and focus on this as a normal match, as anyone else.

I'm sure she's -- it must be hard for her right now.

Q. Did you see her again when you went back to the locker room?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: No, I haven't seen her.

Q. Has it been very difficult for you to be the only Danish player who is doing well since many years? We had Ulrich... Have you met the past players?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I actually have, yeah.

Q. The whole country putting pressure on you, I guess, or not? Do you feel someone else should come?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: No, not really. Honestly, I obviously don't know anything else. It's always been normal for me. I'm very proud to represent Denmark, represent my country. I think they're proud of my achievements.

It's great. I obviously hope that this can inspire young players. We have a couple of youngsters coming up that maybe have potential in the future. I hope that this is going to inspire those little boys and girls to play and believe in themselves. Even if you're from a country that doesn't have the longest traditions, we have to start somewhere.

Q. You were talking about the injuries you had 18 months ago. How were you able to overcome that? Was it a matter of time and your body healed, or did you have to do something to make your body stronger?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, sometimes you need to take some extra time off to really get back to 100%. I think with the experience I got, I learned sometimes a little more time off is better, also from a mental state. Then you just have to figure out what works for you now because, you know, fitness-wise maybe 10 years ago I could maybe push my body more than I can now. At the same time, you know what works and what doesn't. You can kind of do more specific training.

I think it's a combination of everything.

Q. Twice you've spoken about the beauty of Daphne, how you're going to go home and sleep with her. Do you like her elegance, her charm?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: She's beautiful, isn't she? I think what she stands for is obviously what makes it most special. Being here with the Australian Open trophy is something that is incredibly special to me. I'm just going to really, as I said before, try to soak this moment in, try to enjoy it as long as possible. I'm going to bring her to the airport. It's going to be great.

It's very special. Very few people can say they've been through all of this. It's all about just enjoying the moment. Doesn't come around very often.

Q. What would go through your mind slam after slam when another great champion would win but you weren't there, then the questions came up? What was your self-talk about those experiences?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Honestly, to be honest with you, regardless, I think I've had an incredible career. The end of the day, I think a lot of people would like to be in my position.

Honestly, you know, nobody knows how much work, dedication you put into it. All I could tell myself was, You know what, you've given it everything you have. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen. If not, then at least you know you've given it everything you've got and you can be proud of any achievement.

Obviously adding a Grand Slam to my CV is what caps it off and really, I think, shows my whole career as a whole.

Q. You have 28 other trophies. Where do you put them? Where will this one be put? Close to the others or in a separate place?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: My parents have most of my trophies, actually all of them. I think I have one of the US Open runner-ups in my apartment in Monaco but I have some, like, nice decoration on top of it.

I don't know. I haven't thought about it yet. All I know is I'm going to bring her home, decide where to put her later. Probably at my parents' place for now. Then we'll see.