Wozniacki 'shock' at arthritis diagnosis

Caroline Wozniacki during the Qatar Open competition in Doha on 15 February 2018.
Caroline Wozniacki during the Qatar Open competition in Doha on 15 February 2018. Karim Jaafar/AFP
Text by: Andy May
2 min

Reigning Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki wants to become a role model for people with rheumatoid arthritis after herself being diagnosed with the condition this year.

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The former world number one discovered that she had the auto-immune disease in August, admitting that it was "a shock" and was "a lot to take in".

Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. 

"You feel like you are the fittest athlete out there and all of a sudden you have this to work with," said the 28-year-old.

"It is obviously not ideal for anybody, and I think when you are a professional athlete, it is also not even more ideal.

Wozniacki said that she started to feel fatigue after last summer's Wimbledon, where she lost in the second round, and was unable one morning to lift her arms over her head.

"I think I did not want to talk about it during the year because I did not want to give anyone the edge or have people thinking that I am not feeling well, but I have been feeling well.

"You learn how to just cope after matches. Some days you wake up and you cannot get out of bed and you just have to know that is how it is, but other days you live and you are fine - you do not even feel like you have it."

Wozniacki won the China Open earlier this month, soon after her diagnosis.

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