PARIS (Reuters) - If having a broken heart was a viable excuse for withdrawing from a grand slam tournament, Caroline Wozniacki might be tempted to use it.
The Dane’s life has been turned upside down since golfer Rory McIlroy, like Wozniacki a former world No.1 in his sport, suddenly broke off their engagement last week.
The two had been heading for the altar after McIlroy proposed at New Year in Sydney, but the Northern Irishman said he got cold feet while sorting out the wedding invitations.
McIlroy appeared distraught at the split but recovered sufficiently over four rounds at Wentworth to win the BMW PGA Championship title on Sunday.
“Somebody asked me how I feel and the truth is I don’t exactly know. I mean, I’m thrilled I’ve won obviously but it’s been a weird week,” said the 25-year-old.
“When I got inside the ropes this week I used it like a release. I was on my own and doing what I do best, and that sort of gave me five hours of serenity.”
Doing what she does best may give Wozniacki some peace when she starts her opening match at Roland Garros against Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium on Tuesday.
But then, win or lose, that serenity will surely be shattered when the 13th seed has to satisfy the media’s desire to dissect why her love lies bleeding.
The 23-year-old has kept her counsel since the breakup, only turning to Twitter to report: “It’s a hard time for me right now. Thanks for all the sweet messages!”.
One of those messages was from Serena Williams, the current No.1 and defending champion at Roland Garros.
The American posted a photo on Instagram showing a dinner on Sunday night with Wozniacki and other friends - “With my gang having a blast” - hours after telling journalists that a breakup is far more painful than losing as a professional.
“Oh, I would rather lose any day than break up. It’s always hard,” the 32-year-old said after winning her opening match in Paris.
“It’s definitely easier to take a loss because you always have next week. But at the end of the day when you really are young, you always have next year and you have the rest of your life.
“Once you know that, everything goes together.”
Editing by Julien Pretot