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Caroline Wozniacki's father tears into WTA and threatens to quit tennis for good

Caroline Wozniacki’s dad and long-time coach Piotr has ripped into the WTA, branding the women’s tennis tour an “amateur” organisation as he blasted their treatment of mothers on tour. The Australian Open champion was snubbed for wildcards at the French Open and Italian Open. Her father has now threatened to quit tennis next year, explaining that he had to speak out even if his daughter would resent him.

Wozniacki returned to tennis last August, more than three years after she ended her career at the Australian Open. During her retirement, the former world No. 1 started a family and gave birth to two children. She is one of many playing mothers on the tour, including Naomi Osaka, Elina Svitolina, Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka.

But her father has warned against encouraging young girls to play tennis after seeing how Wozniacki was treated upon her return. In a scathing rant, Piotr told Sport.pl: “Caroline is a perfect example to show everyone how pathological women’s tennis is. My daughter does not have a protected ranking because she had a long break. And that’s fine.

“But isn’t it worth helping such a girl if she decided to come back? The WTA believes that it is operating in an amateur fashion in the largest professional women’s sport of all sports in the world. They sign contracts with the players and the players are obliged to do certain things under these contracts. And what do they get? Nothing, really nothing.”

The 33-year-old is currently relying on wildcards to enter tournaments as she came back unranked and now sits at No. 117 in the world. After failing to get a pass into the French Open and the WTA 1000 in Rome, her dad claimed that the WTA needed to step in and prevent federations from giving all of their wildcards to inexperienced players from their own nations.

“It turns out that when someone like Caroline Wozniacki comes back as Caroline Wozniacki and family, she is no longer welcome,” he continued. “The rules in tennis today are such that there is no longer a mandatory wild card for someone who was once in the top 20, had a long break and came back.

“This card was really helpful for tennis players coming back after having a baby and for those coming back from serious injuries. And now Karolina, Angelique Kerber or Naomi Osaka are dependent only on someone else’s decisions. Since last year, all wild cards are the property of the tournaments, and the WTA washes its hands of them. The effect? For the tournament in Rome, all the wild cards, and there were eight of them, were given to Italians. I understand promoting your players, but how can you give the right to play in a tournament of this rank to girls who shouldn’t even think about playing in a WTA 1000 tournament?”

Wozniacki is now set to miss the French Open as she did not receive a wildcard and did not sign into the qualifying event. Explaining why she didn’t go through qualies, Piotr said his daughter “wanted to see if she is respected” by the organisers. After experiencing multiple wildcard snubs, she will now likely enter the Wimbledon qualifying event.

After being left frustrated by the treatment from the WTA and other tournaments, the 61-year-old said Wozniacki would likely quit tennis this year. He added: “And I will tell you that Caroline will definitely not play next year. We have already decided this. Because there’s no point in going through something like that. They don’t take us seriously, so it’s a waste of our efforts.

“We will survive until the end of this season, until the last Grand Slam tournament, the US Open, and then we will leave it at that. We’ll see what happens with Wimbledon along the way. Before that, Caroline will try to play a tournament, maybe they will let us in. And at Wimbledon, if Caroline does not get a wild card, we will play qualifiers.”

Piotr is hoping that the former world No. 1’s story will provide some home truths for mums returning to tennis, as fellow Grand Slam champion Petra Kvitova prepares to make a comeback from pregnancy. “Maybe using Caroline’s example we will be able to understand that it is not easy to decide to start a family during your career?

“Petra Kvitova, among others, is now pregnant, and in general, other tennis players decide to do so, thinking that if Wozniacki, Kerber or Osaka have given birth and returned, they will do the same. But the truth is that they don’t know what they will return to. For me, it is completely incomprehensible that players who have done something, achieved something, showed character and certainly attracted some fans to this sport can be treated so badly after their return.”

However, Wozniacki’s dad and coach made it clear that he was not speaking on his daughter’s behalf and hinted that the 30-time title winner could be annoyed with his decision to go public. “It’s not really about Caroline, she takes it very calmly. And I feel that she will resent me for turning to you and wanting to talk. But I feel like I have to,” he said. “I believe that the regulations of the WTA and the ambitions of this organisation should be completely revised. I can see up close that there is a lot of work and no one wants to do it. It’s a waste of words.”


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