World number three Caroline Wozniacki said she hopes to become an inspiration for fellow sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis as her shock diagnosis drew support and sympathy on Friday.
The 28-year-old Dane revealed she was suffering from the condition after crashing out of the WTA Finals against Elina Svitolina late on Thursday, ending her title defence.
The reigning Australian Open champion and former world number one has since received a flood of supportive messages and well wishes on social media.
Wozniacki was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, which causes swelling of the joints and fatigue, before the US Open. She said she felt unwell after Wimbledon, before waking up during the Rogers Cup in August unable to lift her arms.
"I thought it was just the flu," she told journalists in Singapore. "After the US Open, I just kind of had to figure out what really was going on.
"So that's when I really figured it out. I went to see one of the best doctors there is and start treatment.
"In the beginning, it was a shock. You feel like you're the fittest athlete out there... and all of a sudden you have this to work with. It is what it is, and you just have to be positive."
Wozniacki said the illness required daily management, and that there were some days when she struggles to get out of bed.
"It's a lifetime thing. It's not something that just goes away," she said. "You learn how to just cope after matches.
"Some days you wake up and you can't get out of bed and you just have to know that's how it is, but other days you're fine."
Svitolina wins the end of year champs in 3 long sets. I am very much a zombie today as i watched it last night
That is the slowest hard court i have ever seen. All the rallies were so long and drawn out. It was pathetic really. Yes, there was some good tennis but I found myself bored during some of the long rallies. At least with clay, Spin is a factor. Anyway, I understand why Svitolina struggles at Slam level. So dependent on her coach for tactics and just general pep talks. But boy, can she move. Her speed was outstanding and she was never truly out of many points unless Sloane actually hit a line.
either way, I am looking forward to a fast hard court. The slow hard court is the worst in tennis.
Another long year has now ended(bar the Fed Cup and the WTA Elite Trophy). 3 new grand slam winners and another new end of year champ winner.
That's a shame but I understand that Cahill is taking a year off to spend more time with his family. Hope to see him back coaching soon and hopefully Halep will continue on successfully with a new coach, I've enjoyed watching her play this year.
Lucie will not play any warm-up tournaments and will play singles and doubles and that's that. Made a French Open final(losing to Serena in 3) and also the semis of Wimbledon. But her best success came on the doubles court. Not sure if she was number 1 but her partnership with BMS probably was. In the end, she finishes with 5 GS double titles from 3 of the 4 opens.(she is missing Wimbledon). Though she will be a chance this summer for another one. They are that good together.
The other one was announced last night.
Former Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska announced Wednesday she is retiring from tennis after a 13-year career.
The 29-year-old Pole, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 2, says she is "no longer able to train and play the way I used to.''
Radwanska won 20 WTA titles in her career. She reached the Wimbledon final in 2012, losing to Serena Williams in three sets. Radwanska also reached the semifinals at the All England Club in 2013 and '15, as well as reaching the French Open semifinals in 2014 and '16
my 2nd fav player and I don't think you find someone on this forum who didn't like to watch her. Just a classy classy player and a constant in the "shot of the year" award. Some of the things she used to do......always outgunned, never out-touched.
Sadly, could never back up all that running over 2 weeks but she was constantly in the top 10 for half a decade I reckon. She also won the end of year champs in 2015. Probably the right move as she really hasn't been at her best for a couple of years now and her game style would take a lot out of her. I dont think we will have another player like her.