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August 24, 2018

Caroline Wozniacki

New York, NY, USA

THE MODERATOR: Our next player reached a Grand Slam final here at the US Open. Five years later she did it again. And then back in January captured her maiden Grand Slam title at the 2018 Australian Open regaining the sport's top ranking.

Please welcome to the Media Day podium two-time US Open finalist, Caroline Wozniacki.

Q. How does it feel to be back at the US Open?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: It feels good to be back. Quite a few changes now since last year. This court, it's pretty cool. It's the first time I see it.

So it's fun to be back. I enjoy it here. I love New York, so it's great.

Q. You're coming to the US Open, you have a major under your belt. Is there a lot less pressure now, or...
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, I mean, you know, it's something that definitely I wanted to achieve before, you know, I ended my career at some point. So it's amazing to have that under my belt. And to say I have won a Grand Slam, it definitely feels great. You know, I started off the year on a high note.

Q. On that note, you come into Grand Slams now having won a championship. Can you derive confidence from that championship, knowing you can take it all the way?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, I mean, I always thought I can make it all the way because I have won so many tournaments and beaten basically everyone on tour, but, you know, the competition is so strong, and it's so hard that, you know, you never know if you're actually going to do it in a Grand Slam. You know, I just kind of put my head down and kept grinding and kept fighting, and it was my time.

Q. After you win a slam for the first time, is there a sense of relief, or is it also a lot of extra challenges that kind of make it sometimes even harder?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Was that two different questions? Because...

Q. After you win one for the first time.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Honestly, I think for me it was more about just kind of regrouping, because in my career I have done so much and I have won so many tournaments and obviously been No. 1, but then I still always had that goal, you know, I want to win a Grand Slam. So that was always my aim and my focus when I was training that obviously I want to win everything, but I want to win a Grand Slam.

And kind of, after you win a Grand Slam, that's kind of like, Okay, what's next? I've kind of done it all now. That, for me, was a mental shift that I had to make.

Q. You know, David played here for several years with the Knicks. How has he helped your tennis, or has he helped your tennis at all? He said he's had so much fun being around this environment. How is he helping you?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: He's such a positive person and just helped me enjoy my time off the court and just more relaxed and having fun, doing what I do, you know.

I think sometimes we get so caught up in everything that, you know, he just kind of reminded me that we're so fortunate to be here and be playing. It's amazing to be allowed to play in these big stadiums in front of a huge crowd. That kind of mental just shifted for me that I just love being out there every single time.

Q. I have to ask, how is the body feeling since Cincinnati? Was that more precautionary, or was it more worrisome at the time than maybe you thought it was?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: It was definitely more worrisome at the time. I'm feeling good now. I have been playing points now for the past few days and played sets and everything, and I feel great. I'm very happy with that progress. Yeah, I'm 100% now.

Q. So you have been able to practice full?

Q. Does the adrenaline of being in a major tournament help with that physically? Kind of make you feel better than you might otherwise?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, that's what you hope for, anyways. I guess it can also make you feel worse. But, yeah, I'm feeling good, and I am happy with how my body is responding.

Q. You have gotten to the finals here. How special is it to be here? And what do you think you need to do to be there again in the finals, winning the title, of course?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, I love playing here. I think it's a great event and I think the courts suit my game, and the crowd, I love to play on big courts. When it gets loud and exciting, that's what I live for, you know.

I just have to be out there and I have to fight for every ball, every point. And it's not going to be easy, because there is a lot of great players out there. You know, I'm just going to go with my first round first and try to beat that obstacle.

Q. Speaking of your first round, it's a pretty high-level opponent for a first-round match. What's your take on that? Any memories you have of the US Open? Anyone you used to like to watch as a kid from this tournament that comes to mind?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah. Sam's a great player and obviously won the US Open here in 2011, I think. You know, it's definitely a tough first round. I have to be ready from the start. There is no easing into it.

But I'm ready. I feel I'm playing good. I feel I'm doing the right things, so we'll see.

The US Open is very special. I think some of my earlier memories were when Venus and Serena started coming up, when they were young. They had the braids and the beads. And I remember, I think it was Venus, the hair, it all fell out on the court. Those are some of my earlier memories.

Also just the fashion aspect of it and the atmosphere. I think there is nothing to beat Arthur Ashe night sessions. Those are very special.

Q. Last week you talked a little bit about carrying legacies forward, especially in the women's tour and in tennis, you know, the next generation and your confidence in believing kind of everything is in good hands. I'm curious, what do you think is the most important thing in making sure that it does, like, the stories get passed down, the traditions are understood, the history is known, all that sort of stuff?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I mean, it's so important for me to have Billie Jean King around and being able to talk to her and really understand from her point of view how everything started. I think that was so special and that taught me a lot.

But also just having great role models on tour as people, you know, because we will always have great players. There will always be a new one coming up, playing great. But having those great people on tour, I think it's so important. Someone like Serena, Venus really took, you know, us under their wing and me under their wing and kind of just, you know, taught me the ins and the outs and taught me that you can speak out and you have a platform and you can really make a difference.

I think for the next generations, it's, you know, the veterans on tour, it's kind of them that needs to set the precedent for the younger ones coming up and kind of showing them and pave the way, because tennis is a huge sport and the biggest women's sport in the world. We really have a huge platform, and I think we just need to use it.

Q. Are you now one of those veterans? And what are you doing to educate the next generation?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, I think, you know, you see young ones coming up all the time, and you talk to them and you kind of get to know everyone. I think that's kind of the way, you know. Everyone gets introduced to each other, and I think that way, you know, they can ask questions.

If there is anything they want to know, I think you just set a good example, as well, with your actions and the way you carry yourself.

Q. (Off microphone.)
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Honestly, I think, again, as I said, we have a huge platform, and I think we need to use it for good. We are very privileged to be here. We have millions of people watching us play every week, and we're in the media all the time because our tour is from January through end of October.

So use it for good. Use it for your passion and for whatever, you know, you believe in. Yeah, just really use it for good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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