Before she gets to Rio where she will serve as Denmark’s flag bearer for the Olympics Opening Ceremony in Brazil, Caroline Wozniacki will be in Philadelphia to compete for Billie Jean King’s Mylan World TeamTennis Philadelphia Freedoms team.
She called the choice by her country a “dream come true” on Twitter when the decision was announced earlier in 2016. The historic role for Wozniacki wasn’t initially set in stone, however, as she had to appeal an International Tennis Federation decision to prevent her from playing in the Olympics due to Fed Cup rules. She won the appeal at the end of June.
Wozniacki, a former world No.1 and a two-time US Open finalist, will play Mylan WTT for the second time in her career. She made her league debut 10 years ago at age 16 when she competed for Kansas City. Wozniacki has 23 singles titles and finished 2010 and 2011 as the world’s top-ranked player.
“I’m so excited to be back playing World TeamTennis and to play on Billie’s team is a huge honor,” said Wozniacki in an interview with Mylan WTT. “Last time I played was 10 years ago so it’s going to be a nice turn back in time. Hopefully it’s going to be just as much fun and the crowd, hopefully, is going to love it. I’m sure it’s going to be two great nights.”
Wozniacki will play for the Freedoms on Monday, August 1 and Tuesday, August 2. She’ll be joined by a team including, Mylan WTT rookie Lukas Lacko, France’s Fabrice Martin, Great Britain’s Naomi Broady, and Americans Samantha Crawford and Donald Young. Wozniacki will be coached by Freedoms’ veteran head coach Josh Cohen, who has led the team for five seasons.
“I always want to win and I’m going to do my best so hopefully I pull off part of the win with my team,” added Wozniacki. “Most of all hopefully we’re going to have fun and just enjoy it. I’m sure we’re going to do great.”
Notably, Wozniacki has never been to Philadelphia before. “It’s always fun to see and learn something new,” she said. “I’m sure the fans are going to be amazing so I’m excited to meet everybody.”
On her first night with the Freedoms, Wozniacki will compete in New York City at The West Side Tennis Club when her team faces the New York Empire.
“It’s going to be fun to play in New York City again and it’s going to be a new venue for me,” explained Wozniacki. “It’s a place I’ve never played but obviously with so much history. I have a great connection with all the New Yorkers so I think we’re going to have fun and it’s going to be a good night and we’re going to go for the win.”
Along with playing in two US Open finals at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Wozniacki ran the New York City Marathon in 2014. “I love the buzz of the city. I think just everything about it. You can go out at any time of the day or night and there’s something to do,” she said. “I’ve had so much support there and I have friends and really close friends there and they just make me feel at home and make me feel welcome so it’s a big part of loving New York.”
And Wozniacki understands how important Mylan WTT is for the fans. If she wasn’t a player, she said she’d be watching it. “If I was a kid I would come every day if my team was playing in my hometown. Even now if I was around I would go watch World TeamTennis because it’s a blast,” she said. “It’s so different from what we are used to and everyone is enjoying themselves. Everyone is having a great time.”