World number one Ash Barty made serene progress to the fourth round of the Australian Open as Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams suffered shock exits.

Coco Gauff claimed another famous scalp in the form of defending champion Osaka to join Williams' conqueror Qiang Wang in the next round.

In a mixed day for the American contingent, Alison Riske and Sofia Kenin also went through, but Madison Keys was knocked out in straight sets.

Petra Kvitova was in commanding form as she progressed, while Caroline Wozniacki saw her career come to an end with defeat.

OSAKA DEFENCE ENDS AS SERENA WAIT GOES ON

Gauff got revenge for a rout at the hands of Osaka at the US Open last year to claim the biggest win of her fledgling career, seeing off the number three seed 6-3 6-4.

Beaten 6-3 6-0 in just 65 minutes at Flushing Meadows, 15-year-old Gauff made the most of 30 unforced errors from her opponent to set up a meeting with compatriot Kenin, who defeated Shuai Zhang 7-5 7-6 (9-7).

Williams' wait for a 24th grand slam singles title goes on, the American beaten in 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 by Wang in a gripping encounter.

The 38-year-old, who hit 56 unforced errors to Wang's 20, confessed afterwards: "I just made far too many errors to be a professional athlete today."

OMINOUS SIGNS FROM BARTY AND KVITOVA

There were no such concerns for Barty, who dispatched Elena Rybakina 6-3 6-2 in 78 minutes.

The home favourite will face Riske in the fourth round, the American outlasting Julia Goerges 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2.

Last year's runner-up Petra Kvitova progressed in similarly imperious fashion, seeing off Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-1 6-2.

Kvitova, who is yet to drop a set at this year's event, will now face Maria Sakkari after her impressive 6-4 6-4 defeat of Keys.

 

TEARFUL WOZNIACKI BOWS OUT

Former world number one Wozniacki saw her career come to an end with a three-set defeat to Ons Jabeur.

The 2018 champion lost 7-5 3-6 7-5 to the Tunisian, who will play a fourth-round match at a major for the first time against Wang.

An emotional Wozniacki, who fought back from 3-0 down in the decider but was decisively broken in the 11th game, said afterwards: "I want to be out there fighting. I fought like my life depended on it."

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal paid tribute to Caroline Wozniacki after the former world number one was sent into retirement at the Australian Open.

Wozniacki's career came to an end following the Danish 29-year-old's 7-5 3-6 7-5 third-round loss to Ons Jabeur in Melbourne on Friday.

The 2018 Australian Open champion, Wozniacki announced last month that she planned to call it quits at the conclusion of the year's opening grand slam.

Afterwards, superstar ATP trio Federer, Djokovic and Nadal featured in a video message via the WTA.

"Hey Caroline, many congratulations on a most amazing career," 20-time slam winner Federer said in the video shared on Twitter. "I was so happy for you when you won the Australian Open and also world number one, that's the pinnacle of our sport and you did it all.

"I always enjoyed watching you play. You had a lot of battles. I was waiting sometimes to play and you were playing ahead of me, and your matches took forever. But that's okay, I loved watching you play.

"We'll miss you, the WTA will miss you and the ATP will miss you. I wish you all the very best for what's to come. Thank you for everything you've done for tennis."

Reigning Australian Open champion Djokovic said: "Caro, I don't know how to say goodbye to you. I know the moment is coming closer and closer for you. We've known each other for a long time. We lived in the same place for many years, so I've seen you jog on the street and walk your dogs. We developed a nice friendly relationship as well.

"You're a fantastic person. You've done so much for tennis. Your contribution is very positive to the game and the game will definitely miss you.

"I wish you and your husband David a wonderful life together. Hopefully kids on the way as well. Hope to see you. Come and watch us play and have fun."

"Hey Caroline. Well, just very sad to make this video because everybody wants to watch you play tennis," added world number one and top seed Nadal.

"You had an amazing career. I just want to congratulate you on all the things you achieved and at the same time to be nice to everyone.

"It's been great to share many great moments with you. I wish you all the very best in your personal life, happiness and health. Hope we keep seeing you around."

Caroline Wozniacki's professional career came to an end with a third-round loss to Ons Jabeur at the Australian Open on Friday.

The 2018 champion announced last month she would retire at the end of the year's opening grand slam, and her run in Melbourne came to an end in the first week.

Wozniacki went down to Jabeur 7-5 3-6 7-5 on Melbourne Arena, bringing an end to her career after a second third-round exit in as many years.

The former world number one typically fought hard before falling short against Jabeur in two hours, seven minutes.

Wozniacki came from 3-0 down in the final set but was broken in the 12th game by her Tunisian opponent.

The 29-year-old shed some tears after the curtain was brought down on a fine career.

Ash Barty and Serena Williams moved through at the Australian Open as Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff set up a third-round showdown.

Home favourite and world number one Barty was untroubled on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, continuing her run in Melbourne.

Williams was below her best but still advanced during the night session as her bid for a record-equalling 24th grand slam title continued.

There is also the prospect of a mouthwatering showdown between two of the game's leading lights on Friday.

 

BARTY, SERENA UNTROUBLED

Barty brushed past Slovenian Polona Hercog 6-1 6-4 in just 66 minutes on the back of a consistent performance.

The Australian mixed 16 winners – nine of those from the forehand side – with 16 unforced errors, setting up a clash with Kazakh 29th seed Elena Rybakina.

Williams was left frustrated during the second set of her 6-2 6-3 victory over Tamara Zidansek.

The American star was pushed before advancing in one hour, 18 minutes, having committed 28 unforced errors, including 17 in the second set.

Next up for Williams is Wang Qiang, the Chinese 27th seed having rushed past Fiona Ferro 6-1 6-2.

 

OSAKA, GAUFF SET UP BLOCKBUSTER CLASH

Osaka's title defence stayed alive with a 6-2 6-4 victory over China's Zheng Saisai.

The Japanese third seed faces her biggest test yet in the third round, where Gauff awaits after the teenager's comeback win.

Gauff looked set for an exit, trailing Sorana Cirstea 3-0 in the final set.

But the 15-year-old fought back to claim a 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory and reach the third round at a grand slam for the third straight time.

Osaka crushed Gauff 6-3 6-0 when the pair met at last year's US Open.

 

WOZNIACKI STAYS ALIVE AS KVITOVA, KEYS ADVANCE

Caroline Wozniacki stretched her professional career for at least another match by beating Ukrainian 23rd seed Dayana Yastremska 7-5 7-5.

The 2018 Australian Open champion, who is retiring at the end of the tournament, came from 5-1 down in the first set and 3-0 behind in the second.

Last year's runner-up, Petra Kvitova, was tested in a 7-5 7-5 victory over Spain's Paula Badosa while Madison Keys also had moments of concern in her 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 win over Arantxa Rus.

Petra Martic (13) and Aryna Sabalenka (11) were among the seeds to fall, with the latter beaten by Carla Suarez Navarro in their opening-round clash.

Caroline Wozniacki prolonged her career by at least another match after rallying past 23rd seed Dayana Yastremska 7-5 7-5 in the second round on Wednesday.  

Wozniacki will retire after the Australian Open and the 2018 champion faced the prospect of going out against the red-hot Yastremska, who raced out to a 5-1 lead in the opening set.

Yastremska was in control before former world number one Wozniacki reeled off six successive games to steal the set on Margaret Court Arena.

Wozniacki was also down a double break and 3-0 at the start of the second set before weathering another storm at Melbourne Park.

Having lost momentum, Yastremska called for a medical timeout and it seemed to help as the Ukrainian saved three match points to hold for 5-5.

But 29-year-old Danish star Wozniacki was not to be denied, ensuring her farewell party carried through to the third round after more than two hours on court.

World number one Ash Barty was relieved to come through the "chaos" of a first day of few shocks at the Australian Open.

Home favourite and top seed Barty had to come from a set down to progress in Melbourne, beating Lesia Tsurenko 5-7 6-1 6-1.

The Queenslander ensured she joined several other big names in advancing, with defending champion Naomi Osaka triumphing along with Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova - straight-sets winners over Anastasia Potapova and Katerina Siniakova respectively.

Venus Williams did not follow her sister into round two, though, as she fell to 15-year-old Coco Gauff once again.

Gauff had already beaten fellow American Williams at Wimbledon last year and pulled off a repeat on Monday.

Sloane Stephens crashed out 2-6 7-5 6-2 to Zhang Shuai, while Barbora Strycova lost to Sorana Cirstea in straight sets, but fellow seeds Petra Martic, Sofia Kenin and Ekaterina Alexandrova all advanced.

Caroline Wozniacki, who will retire at the end of the tournament, prolonged her career by easing past Kristie Ahn 6-1 6-3.


BARTY GETTING BETTER AT EACH SLAM

Barty won the French Open last season and feels she is improving with the experience of every major.

"It's always a little bit different, I think," she said. "Slams always feel like there's a lot of chaos going because there's so many people.

"It's busy with singles and doubles players, mixed players, families, coaches, everyone underneath. It's just chaos.

"When you're able to separate that from when you step on the court is when you can do a little bit better, play a little bit better, feel a little bit more comfortable.

"I feel like we've been able to do that better and better with each slam that I've played. It's an experience thing. You have to learn how to deal with it, but it's getting better."

Reflecting on her role as a home favourite and the top seed, Barty added: "I feel like I'm doing it the best way that I know how. I'm doing it with my team. We're doing it as a team.

"We're loving it. We're embracing it. There's no other way to approach it. I think we're just going along for the ride, trying to play some good tennis."


VENUS: THE SKY'S THE LIMIT FOR COCO

Seven-time grand slam winner Venus Williams knows a thing or two about champions, and she expects new nemesis Gauff to go all the way to the top.

Asked if the teenager has a "champion's mentality", Williams replied: "She clearly wants it, works very hard, is extremely mature for her age. I think the sky's the limit for her."

The veteran was impressed by Gauff's mentality, adding: "She just played very focused and put a lot of balls in the court. That's what you have to do.

"She'll play well for the rest of the event."


WOZNIACKI 'TRYING TO ENJOY THE MOMENT'

Knowing her career is coming to an end, Wozniacki acknowledged she found it difficult to keep her emotions in check.

But the 2018 champion is determined to enjoy her final days at the top of the sport.

"I feel good, having won my first match here. It's always tricky, especially knowing it's my last tournament," she said. "There's a lot of just emotions, but I tried to keep them in check, and I thought I did that very well today.

"I think I'm just really trying to enjoy every moment. I don't know that there is one particular moment, but there is once in a while where you're like, 'Wow, this really is my last one'.

"You never know, it [could be] still two weeks from now. But every match you go out there, I'm just going to give it everything that I have, because it could be the last."

Caroline Wozniacki insisted she was calm and just enjoying herself ahead of her final professional tournament at the Australian Open.

Wozniacki will retire after the Australian Open, which begins on Monday, ending a career that saw her win the title in Melbourne in 2018 and hold the top ranking.

The Dane, 29, said she was staying calm so far, but expects there to be emotion once her career is officially over.

"It's not a situation that I've ever been in. It's hard to tell," Wozniacki told a news conference on Saturday when asked if she would stay calm.

"So far I'm calm and just enjoying myself. I have my family here, which is great. I'm sure once the last ball is hit, it's going to be a bit emotional."

Wozniacki will face Kristie Ahn in the opening round in Melbourne, but said her approach had remained unchanged despite the circumstances.

"So far I've just approached it like any other tournament, but obviously it's different since it's my last one," she said.

"I'm just enjoying being out there. I've had some great practice sessions. I've done everything I could to prepare as well as I can for this tournament, then hope for the best."

Caroline Wozniacki said she and Serena Williams "had so much fun" together - even though their Auckland Classic doubles title hopes were shattered in Sunday's final.

The unheralded American duo of Asia Muhammad and Taylor Townsend pulled off a notable upset, winning 6-4 6-4 to deny newly crowned singles champion Williams and former world number one Wozniacki.

For Williams, it was just the second women's doubles final defeat of an incredible WTA career, meaning her record in those matches stands at 23-2.

With Wozniacki retiring after the Australian Open, this was her last chance of a title in Auckland, where she was twice a singles runner-up.

The close friendship between Williams and Wozniacki was apparent, as the pair could be frequently seen in hysterics at the changeover between games, and both said afterwards they wished they had paired up earlier in their careers.

"We had a blast," Williams, who was a bridesmaid for Wozniacki last year, said.

But they could not get the job done on this occasion, with former singles number one Wozniacki and all-time great Williams outfought under the floodlights.

Townsend served for the match and brought up three match points with an ace beyond the Williams forehand, clinching the title when Wozniacki netted on the backhand.

Wozniacki said in an on-court presentation: "Serena, thank you so much for playing doubles with me. It's been so much fun. I think my only regret in tennis is that we didn't do this earlier because I've had such a blast.

"It's rare that I have this much fun on court.

"It's really a fun way to finish off here in Auckland. I couldn't have scripted it any better - obviously I wished we'd have won today, but you guys did so good. We did our best. Congrats on the singles as well today, Serena.

"We have so much fun off the court and now on the court as well. I want to take a little credit for Serena winning the singles today because I think the doubles helped her!"

Williams, filming her partner's interview on her smartphone, said her message to Wozniacki was: "Just congrats on an amazing career. It's not over yet. We have one more tournament to go of her being amazing."

That will come later this month at the Australian Open, the event at which Wozniacki won her one grand slam title in 2018.

"I had the most fun - maybe too much fun today," Williams said. "My only regret is we didn't do this sooner but at least we got to do it."

Serena Williams was in brilliant form to reach the Auckland Open final, while Karolina Pliskova saved a match point to beat Naomi Osaka in a thrilling Brisbane International semi.

Williams needed just 44 minutes to crush 18-year-old Amanda Anisimova 6-1 6-1 in their last four clash at the WTA International tournament in New Zealand.

The 23-time grand slam champion mixed 17 winners with six unforced errors and lost just nine points on serve. Williams served five aces and converted all five of her break points in a dominant display in the lead up to the year's first grand slam in Melbourne.

The American moved into her 98th WTA Tour final and will be aiming for a 73rd title but first since the 2017 Australian Open when she faces Jessica Pegula.

Pegula upset fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki 3-6 6-4 6-0 in their semi-final.

A two-time runner-up, Wozniacki – who will retire after the 2020 Australian Open – won just 10 points in the third set.

Wozniacki will contest the doubles final with Williams against Taylor Townsend and Asia Muhammad.

In Brisbane, Pliskova lost a first set on a tie-break in which she squandered two set points and saved four, and was staring down the barrel after Osaka broke for a 6-5 lead in the second.

However, Osaka's first serve on match point was overly tentative and a series of errors handed Pliskova the break back. The second seed took full advantage, winning the subsequent tie-break and taking the decider in comfortable fashion to defeat the reigning Australian Open champion 6-7 (10-12) 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

Earlier, Madison Keys rallied past Petra Kvitova to clinch a 3-6 6-2 6-3 victory, meaning there will be no all-Czech final in Queensland.

At the Shenzhen Open, Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova clinched her maiden WTA Tour title with a 6-2 6-4 win over Elena Rybakina in the final.

Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka each came from a set down as they geared up their respective Australian Open preparations at the Auckland Classic and the Brisbane International.

Williams needed two hours to overcome compatriot Christina McHale 3-6 6-2 6-3 amid blustery conditions, dropping four of the first five games before hitting her stride.

"I got myself in a hole and I was able to get out of it, so that was satisfying," said Williams, who will face Laura Siegemund in the quarter-finals after the experienced German similarly beat Coco Gauff in three sets.

"I just got mad, and honestly, I said that I wanted to win more than one match here in New Zealand. I thought about that and sometimes it's the craziest things that get you motivated." 

Caroline Wozniacki, who is into the doubles semi-finals as Williams' partner in Auckland, came through a topsy-turvy encounter to beat Lauren Davis 6-1 4-6 6-4.

A dominant opening set from Wozniacki, where Davis was unable to hold serve, was not indicative of the absorbing back-and-forth that followed.

"I got a little lucky in the end and it could have gone both ways," the 29-year-old, who will retire after Melbourne, said.

Julia Goerges is up next for Wozniacki and enjoyed a more straightforward 6-3 6-2 win over Jil Teichmann.

World number one Ash Barty's first singles match of 2020 ended with American qualifier Jennifer Brady prevailing 6-4 7-6 (7-4) at the Brisbane International, where Osaka was facing a similar fate after dropping a tie-break in the opener of her match against Sofia Kenin.

The defending Australian Open champion stormed back to take the contest 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-1 and will face Kiki Bertens – a 6-3 2-6 7-5 winner over Anett Kontaveit.

Petra Kvitova made light work of Liudmila Samsonova, dropping only five games in a straight-sets victory, while number two seed Karolina Pliskova sowed more disappointment for the home crowd by beating Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 to set up a quarter-final against Alison Riske.

Pliskova's twin Kristyna rounded out the quarter-final action at the Shenzhen Open with a 6-4 6-4 win against Kateryna Bondarenko.

She will face Elena Rybakina, who beat third seed Elise Mertens 6-4 4-6 6-2, while Garbine Muguruza and Ekaterina Alexandrova came through three-setters against Zarina Diyas and Wang Qiang respectively to reach the other semi-final.

Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki are making the most of the time they have left together on the women's tennis tour - moving two wins away from landing a trophy together.

American superstar Williams and Denmark's former Australian Open champion Wozniacki have been firm friends for a long time, often spending time together away from the circuit.

But Wozniacki is just weeks away from retirement, so there was no time like the present for the pair to team up in doubles for the first time, and almost certainly the last.

And at the Auckland Classic, the crowd-pleasing Williams-Wozniacki partnership could be destined for silverware after a thumping 6-2 6-1 victory over top seeds Caroline Dolehide and Johanna Larsson took them through to the semi-finals.

"I'm happy to have my second win in 10 years in doubles! But I've got the best partner," Wozniacki said in an on-court interview.

Williams returned the compliment, saying, according to the New Zealand Herald: "We are having a blast. I'm having a blast. [She is] the most fun partner. It's great."

Former singles world number one Wozniacki has barely played doubles in the past decade, and had not won a tour match in the format since a rare outing alongside Malou Ejdesgaard at the 2011 Danish Open.

Williams, however, brings all the credentials in the world. When Williams plays doubles, invariably she is in it to win it.

She and sister Venus have a 100% record in the grand slam doubles finals they have reached as a team, landing 14 of those major titles together, while they also have picked up three Olympic titles.

Indeed, the last time Serena reached a women's doubles final but fell short was way back in 1999, when she and Venus were runners-up at the Southern California Open.

Wozniacki bows out of tennis after the Australian Open, having decided at the age of 29 the time has come to explore what else life has to offer.

She and Williams, who beat Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya in round one, face a wait to learn who their last-four opponents will be.

But lurking on the other side of the draw, also into the semi-finals, are a pair who should play a big part in the future of women's tennis: American teenagers Coco Gauff and Caty McNally.

Gauff, 15, and McNally, 18, saw off the second seeds - Lara Arruabarrena and Renata Voracova - in their opening match and followed up by brushing aside Australians Jessica Moore and Arina Rodionova 6-3 6-2.

Serena Williams described her victorious comeback as "solid" after she beat Camila Giorgi in straight sets at the Auckland Classic in her first match since the US Open.

The 23-time grand slam champion had taken a break after losing to Bianca Andreescu at Flushing Meadows.

Having warmed up with a doubles win alongside Caroline Wozniacki on Monday, Williams was back in singles action on Tuesday and cruised past Giorgi 6-3 6-2 in a little over another hour.

"I thought it was solid, technically my second match of the year," she said.

"Spent a long time off from tournament play, match play, so solid is pretty good. It's a great start to build on.

"It's definitely not easy [to get the rhythm back]. It's always hard to play a match early in the season."

Williams will face Christina McHale next and could meet 15-year-old Coco Gauff for the first time in the quarter-finals.

Her doubles partner Wozniacki, who will retire after the Australian Open, also progressed having dropped just one game against Paige Mary Hourigan.

Former world number one and defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka had more difficulties in beating Maria Sakkari 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 at the Brisbane International.

Sakkari had the momentum in the decider when she forged an early break, yet Osaka fought back and converted her second match point after double faulting with her first.

Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens, who, like Osaka, started the new season ranked in the world's top 10, also advanced in three sets with respective wins against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Dayana Yastremska, while Jennifer Brady came from a set down to oust Maria Sharapova.

Belinda Bencic was eliminated at the Shenzhen Open, though, the world number eight and top seed beaten 3-6 6-3 6-3 by Anna Blinkova.

Defending champion and second seed Aryna Sabalenka was also knocked out as she suffered a straight-sets defeat to Kristyna Pliskova.

Coco Gauff won her first match of the 2020 WTA Tour season in little over an hour at the Auckland Classic, while Serena Williams' singles bow was delayed.

Fifteen-year-old Gauff - a breakout star in 2019 - is in the same quarter of the draw as 23-time grand slam champion Williams, meaning the pair could meet in the last eight.

Gauff has never faced Serena but stunned her sister Venus Williams at Wimbledon last year.

The teenager took a step towards a first clash with the 38-year-old as she saw off Viktoria Kuzmova 6-3 6-1 in the first round on Monday.

"I felt confident, I feel like I'm moving well," Gauff said, with Laura Siegemund or Alison Van Uytvanck up next. "I had a good off-season, and I think that's showing in my matches."

Williams was not in singles action for the first time this year, however, as opponent Svetlana Kuznetsova withdrew, meaning the American must instead play Camila Giorgi on Tuesday.

The WTA great was still able to thrill the Auckland crowd, as she joined the soon-to-retire Caroline Wozniacki in the doubles, beating Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-2 6-4.

"I had a blast," Williams said. "It's so good to play with her - it's like a dream come true."

Wozniacki, who is calling time on her career at the Australian Open, added: "It's amazing to be able to share the court with Serena."

Elsewhere in the singles, Caroline Garcia recovered from a set down to beat Taylor Townsend, while Eugenie Bouchard, Daria Kasatkina, Tamara Zidansek, Jil Teichmann and Jessica Pegula all also advanced.

There were upsets at the Brisbane International, meanwhile, as Danielle Collins crushed Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-1.

Home hopeful Sam Stosur got the better of fellow former major winner Angelique Kerber, recovering in a tough first set to claim consecutive tie-breaks.

"This is the way I want to be all the time on court," Stosur said. "I put more pressure on myself than anyone could ever do."

Ajla Tomljanovic came through three sets, as did Barbora Strycova against Johanna Konta, with Sofia Kenin and Alison Riske also winning.

Aryna Sabalenka cruised through in Shenzhen, while Garbine Muguruza was made to work for victory against Wang Xinyu.

Wang Qiang and Elena Rybakina ensured all four seeds in action on Monday made it into the second round.

Caroline Wozniacki will return to the court after her retirement to play in an exhibition match against Serena Williams.

Denmark's Wozniacki, 29, has announced she will be bringing her career to an end after the Australian Open, which begins next month.

But tickets have also gone on sale for a return to the court in a match being billed as 'The Final One' against close friend and 23-time grand slam champion Williams at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen on May 18.

Wozniacki, an Australian Open champion in 2018, said she had "accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court" in her retirement announcement last Friday.

The decision, which she insisted was not related to being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, came at the end of a difficult campaign where she fell to a year-end position of 37 in the WTA world rankings.

Williams and Wozniacki have met 11 times previously, with the American winning on 10 occasions, though they have not played since the WTA Finals in 2014.

Caroline Wozniacki, a former world number one on the WTA Tour, has announced she will retire from professional tennis following next month's Australian Open.

In a lengthy Instagram post on Friday, the 29-year-old Dane, who claimed grand slam glory at Melbourne Park in 2018, said she had "accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court".

Last year, Wozniacki revealed she had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune disease that causes swelling of the joints and fatigue.

However, she insisted her retirement was not due to health reasons, but rather her desire to focus on a series of matters away from tennis.

"I've played professionally since I was 15 years old," Wozniacki wrote. "In that time, I've experienced an amazing first chapter of my life. With 30 WTA singles titles, a world #1 ranking of 71 weeks, a WTA Finals victory, 3 Olympics [appearances], including carrying the flag for my native Denmark, and winning the 2018 Australian Open grand slam championship, I've accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court.

"I've always told myself, when the time comes, that there are things away from tennis that I want to do more, then it's time to be done.

"In recent months, I've realised that there is a lot more in life that I'd like to accomplish off the court. Getting married to David [Lee, the former NBA star] was one of those goals and starting a family with him while continuing to travel the world and helping raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis [project upcoming] are all passions of mine moving forward.

"So with that, today I am announcing that I will be retiring from professional tennis after the Australian Open in January. This has nothing to do with my health and this isn't a goodbye, I look forward to sharing my exciting journey ahead with all of you!"

"Finally, I want to thank with all my heart, the fans, my friends, my sponsors, my team, especially my father as my coach, my husband, and my family for decades of support! Without all of you I could have never have done this!"

A Melbourne swansong represents a fitting finale for Wozniacki, given the city played host to her greatest triumph.

Having twice suffered the pain of defeat in a grand slam final, at the 2009 and 2014 US Opens, Wozniacki ended her long wait with a gutsy three-set victory over Simona Halep that took close to three hours.

Her tally of 71 weeks as world number one is the ninth-highest total on the WTA Tour since the inception of computer rankings.

Wozniacki last topped the rankings following her 2018 Australian Open win, but she ended this year 38th on the list, her trademark court-covering ability seemingly compromised by her rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.

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