Caroline Wozniacki, who suffered an exit in the group stages in the year-end WTA finals, has stunned the world with revelations that she is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Following her 5-7,7-5,6-3 loss to Elina Svitolina, Wozniacki said, "Turns out that I have an autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis, which goes in and attacks your joints. When the body has a lot of fluids in it and you swell up, you get tired, you get exhausted, all these things."
This announcement comes at a time when Wozniacki enjoyed her finest year in the game. In January, she claimed her first maiden Grand Slam title when she won the Australian Open. Following the win, she briefly recaptured the No.1 ranking for the first time since 2012.
However, in the coming months, Wozniacki’s health deteriorated. The 28-year-old felt unwell during Wimbledon and crashed out in the second round to Ekaterina Makarova. At that time, Wozniacki felt that she was suffering from flu which she had picked up during her vacation.
In August, she played in the Roger’s Cup in Montreal but one morning, she woke up and discovered that she could not lift her arms above her head. Wozniacki thought she was suffering from glandular fever but initial assessment by the doctors said she was fine. It was only after some in-depth testing did the Danish player find she was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Despite the disease, Wozniacki won her third title of the year in Beijing. She was scheduled to start in the US Open but withdrew due to a leg injury. As her performances deteriorated, she won the China Open for the second time which secured her spot in the year-ender.
Wozniacki has said she plans to tackle the disease during the off-season. "You find a plan, figure out what to do, you do your research, and thankfully there is great things now that you can do to it. You just kind of move on from it and work through it and figure out how to deal with it and live with it,” Wozniacki said.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term autoimmune disorder that primarily affects joints. It typically results in warm, swollen, and painful joints.Pain and stiffness often worsen following rest. This results in inflammation and thickening of the joint capsule. It also affects the underlying bone and cartilage.
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