Wozniacki hoping for the perfect anniversary present with an upturn in fortunes at Wimbledon
15:18 GMT, 23 June 2012
Sport's most high-profile celebrity couple will celebrate their first anniversary together during Wimbledon.
But it’s not so much love match between Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy that will set tongues wagging this week as the duo’s current slump in form.
Wozniacki is a former world No 1 who has seen her world ranking slip to seventh while the Northern Irishman has failed to make the cut in four out of his last five tournaments, including last week at the US Open.
On the slide: former world No 1 Wozniacki has been seeded seventh for Wimbledon
McIlroy himself dubbed the pair 'Wozzilroy'. But it’s been more of a case of 'Wozziswrong' after they hooked up at Easbourne this week.
No sooner had the Ulsterman exited the tournament at the Olympic Club when he jumped upon a plane to see his other half at the Aegon International.
And, even though football fan Wozniacki was nursing a sense of grievance at Denmark’s exit at Euro 2012, it seemed little else was wrong in her world. Or her fella’s.
They became an item after meeting at the Wladimir Klitschko fight against David Haye in July last year. But the current dip in form in their respective sports has led to suggestions that either one, or both, are losing focus.
'If you take the last 20 events when we started going out,' she said, 'Rory was in the top five in 15 of them and get to number one in the world.
'He didn’t enjoy the US Open. But when you have achieved so much at such a young age like he has, maybe everything has come so easily.
'I think it’s part of the learning curve in sport. I have found it myself. You realise sometimes, “I’m going to win this”, so you take a bit of time off.
'Sometimes, losses work for me. I want to get back. I need reminding that I need that blood on my teeth again – that hunger.
'I don’t think anything ever happens to you that you cannot take some good from.
'And unless you are Tiger Woods, you aren’t going to be No 1 in the world in your sport for 20 years. There are very few instances of that happening.
'People forget that Rory is only 23 years old as well. Most of the guys he is playing against are a lot older and have a lot more experience than him.
'I’m not worried about him. He will continue to do great.'
Courting: McIlroy and Wozniacki share a moment at Eastbourne
Wozniacki, 21, was clearly happy that McIlroy had made the effort to see her on the south coast last week.
'He’s out practising,' came the none-too-unexpected reply as to his whereabouts when the interview was being conducted.
And there was not a hint of frustration in the Dane’s voice when she was quizzed as to whether the pair have talked about their own recent form.
'If we need to talk, we can,' she said, 'but I don’t think there are big things for us to talk about.
'Of course, you can learn things from each other. For a start, both are individual sports.
'And you can see the parallels at times. For instance, when you are number seven or number one, you are near the top of these sports.
'But it’s the mentality where you can probably talk about the similarities.'
Wozniacki was matter-of-fact in her reply to her own current on-court issues. With a long-distance relationship to maintain and a healthy interests in other sports, there is little danger of an over-reaction to any of tennis’s mishaps.
'It’s been very important for me to enjoy my life off court,' she added, 'tennis is very important to me. I’m 100 per cent focused when I’m on court and practising. But it cannot be your whole life.
'You see some of the girls and if they are injured, it’s over. For me, I re-charge my whole batteries better off the court. If I can relax off the court, you can refresh your mind. I can go and play mini-golf and be fresh when I play.
'I don’t want to play for too long. I don’t want to keep playing forever. I would like to play for a couple of years. I want a normal career, give it my all then that that will be that. It’s not easy to travel all the time and to have to be 100 per cent all the time on the court. If you don’t get a good result everyone else says: “Oh no, this is a disaster”. I’m saying: “Relax, it’s not a disaster. I lost a tennis match”.’
Crashing out: Wozniacki lost at Eastbourne at the hands of Heather McHale
One of her big interests is football. She is a big Liverpool supporter and well able to converse with some authority about the goings-on at Anfield. And at Swansea City, too where former Denmark golden boy Michael Laudrup has just taken over from Brendan Rodgers.
'It’s interesting,' she said about the new Reds boss, 'I don’t know much about him but he did a good job as the coach of Swansea, right I hear he has that Mourinho mentality. It’s going to be an interesting match-up. I think he can do some good things for Liverpool and the players.
'Of course, it’s interesting to see Laudrup at Swansea. He was an incredible player. He knows the game so well. But he needs a team where he will be able to play and not just kick it up the field. He likes the Barcelona style. I think Swansea will suit him.'
And with that, she smiles politely. There are mutual ‘Thank yous’ and she departs.
'I am going to play mini-golf you know,' she says by way of confirmation before leaving.
No prizes for guessing who with.
Video: Watch Wozniacki et al getting ready for events at SW19 and at the WTA's pre-Wimbledon party