By Ros Satar, in Singapore

  • Elina Svitolina [6] def. Caroline Wozniacki [2] 5-7 7-5 6-3
  • Admitted she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis earlier this year
SINGAPORE – Caroline Wozniacki opened up about her diagnosis earlier this year for rheumatoid arthritis after feeling unwell in the summer, after exiting the WTA Finals in the group stage,

 

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Wozniacki reveals diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis this year

From the outside looking in, it would have been impossible to know the impact made on Caroline Wozniacki this summer while she battled and held off Elina Svitolina in the third round-robin match before dropping the second set to give Svitolina her ticket into the semi-final.

Caroline Wozniacki with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after winning the women's singles final after winning the Australian Open, 2018

Caroline Wozniacki with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after winning the women’s singles final after winning the Australian Open, 2018 | (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

12 months ago, this had been the biggest title she had won, and that momentum, carried her through to winning her first Slam in Australia, and regaining the No. 1 spot – both of which she admitted were big things.

 

However, what followed was her admission that over the summer what she thought had been flu was actually the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease which attacks your joints, and admitted that after feeling unwell in the summer and at one stage being unable to loft her arms over her head, she sought out the best medical advice.

She said: “I thought it was just the flu. I was on vacation and I wasn’t feeling good. I was like, you know, It’s fine. I’m going to get over it. I go to Washington. Knees are hurting, my leg is hurting. I’m like, Okay, well, just move on. I play in Montreal, and something still doesn’t feel right. You know, I wake up and I can’t lift my arms over my head. I don’t really know what it is. I go to the doctor and they tell me everything is fine. And then, you know, I’m, like, I know that I’m not fine.

“So just doing a lot of research and just kind of just figuring out what’s going on, and so for a while I thought maybe I have mono, maybe I have one of these. It turns out that I have an autoimmune disease, which is rheumatoid arthritis, which goes in and attacks your joints. Obviously when the body has a lot of fluids in it and you swell up, you get tired, you get exhausted, all these things.”

Caroline Wozniacki and Aryna Sabalenka at the Nature Valley International, WTA Eastbourne 2018

Caroline Wozniacki and Aryna Sabalenka at the Nature Valley International, WTA Eastbourne 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

She won Eastbourne but it was a disappointing Wimbledon and resulting summer for her before coming back to win Beijing ahead of closing out her season here.

She continued: “I think that meant so much to me. You obviously start asking yourself questions, what does this mean, does it mean I can’t get in as great of shape as I was before? And, you know, honestly, the doctor was amazing. She just said, You can do whatever you want to do. It’s not going to — you have to feel your body. And a lot of it is also mental. You have to believe in yourself and you have to believe you can do it.

“Obviously winning in Beijing was huge. It also gave me the belief that nothing is going to set me back. I’m just going to — I’m going to work with this and this is how it is, and I can do anything. So hopefully that’s also going to be, you know, I’m sure there is — I know there is a lot of people in the world that are fighting with this, and hopefully I can be, you know, someone they can look up to and say if I can do this, then they can too. And you just kind of have to get together and pull each other up.”

READ MORE | WTA Finals 2018 | Coaching insights ahead of battle of the champions between Petra Kvitova & Caroline Wozniacki

WTA Finals 2018 | Coaching insights ahead of battle of the champions between Petra Kvitova & Caroline Wozniacki

Woznaiaki reached the Auckland final and won the Australian Open and Eastbourne titles before her struggles, with no back to back wins from Wimbledon to Wuhan. Her run to the title in Beijing was her last tournament before the WTA Finals.

She will look to defend her Slam title next year in Melbourne.

 

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