After Waking Up Unable to Move, Tennis Star Carolina Wozniacki Reveals Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis
Two years ago, Carolina Wozniacki was asleep in her bed when she woke up in excruciating pain. The pain was so bad, she told People, that she physically couldn’t get herself out of her own bed.
At the time, Wozniacki was just 28 years old. “I looked at my husband David and told him, ‘I literally can’t move, I’m so exhausted and in so much pain. I felt like I’d been hit by a car and had mono at the same time.” And she had a match the very next day.
As Wozniacki told People, her husband had to carry her out of their bed, put her hair into a ponytail for her, and make sure she got on her plane to Cincinnati for her match. Wozniacki would only be able to get through one “dizzy” set before withdrawing from the tournament and flying to New York City to meet with a doctor.
It was there that she received a diagnosis.
Now, at 30 years old, the tennis star is opening up about her diagnosis and how she is coping. That day in August 2018, Wozniacki was the number 2 tennis player in the world and having her best year ever as a professional, People reports. The athlete retired in January of this year.
She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after a handful of doctor’s appointments, blood tests, and months of pain.
“It was a big shock,” Wozniacki said of her diagnosis to People. “I’ve never had anyone in my family with RA or an immune disease — I just couldn’t understand how a fit young person could have this disease.” However, prior to the diagnosis, Wozniacki admitted that it was scary having “no idea what was going on.”
“It could have been cancer; it could have been a million things. Being a strong athlete and going from playing three hours on a tennis court and then the next day barely being able to get out of bed, raised a lot of question marks.”
According to Mayo Clinic, rheumatoid arthritis “is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than just your joints. In some people, the condition can damage a wide variety of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels. An autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body’s tissues.”
And it can occur in people “at any age, but it most commonly begins in middle age,” Mayo Clinic reports. Following her diagnosis, Wozniacki did continue playing with the help of a treatment plan that included listening to how her body was feeling at any given day.
And one month after her diagnosis, she won the China Open. “It’s probably one of my proudest moments,” Wozniacki said. “Nobody other than my family knew about my RA, and I proved to myself that I can do anything.”
And although rheumatoid arthritis did make training more challenging, Wozniacki told People that she didn’t retire following the 2020 Australia Open because of it. She retired to spend more time with her husband as they are now trying to start a family.
Wozniacki has also been working on Advantage Hers, a new campaign started to raise awareness for women living with chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
At The Buzzer, or ATB, is the place for those who love sports, life, family, community, and so much more. We are far from the run of the mill 24/7 sports news websites. We not only bring you what’s happening in the world of sports in terms of trades and breaking news, but we also bring you the news that goes on behind the scenes. The stuff you don’t see during the 48 minutes of an NBA game or the 60 minutes of an NFL game. We let you know what’s going on in the lives of your favorite athletes. From big life moments like becoming a mother or a father to highlighting personal videos of them raising their little ones, At The Buzzer is the place you go when you want to relate to the athlete you root for on a daily basis. If you're interested in how Russell Wilson juggles being one of the best quarterbacks in the league while also being a doting husband and father-of-three, we got you covered. Interested in seeing a video of Iman Shupert's three-month-old baby speaking her first words, we have that here at ATB. Or would you rather watch Tiger Woods' son growing up and following in his father's footsteps, don't worry, we can show you that too. At The Buzzer is so much more than sports. It's relatable, reliable, and ready to show you a side of sports you didn't know existed. Our goal at ATB is to bring you relatable, entertaining news that will leave you feeling closer and more informed about the people you are looking up to and rooting for. Sports are more than just a group of organizations that entertain you, it's about the people who make up those organizations and the stories of how they became the people they are today. So take a minute and read one of our articles, we promise you won't regret it.