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October 25, 2018

Caroline Wozniacki

Kallang, Singapore

E. SVITOLINA/C. Wozniacki

5-7, 7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Up a set and a break there in the second set. What do you think kind of changed or where do you think it got away from you there?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think it was very close in both sets and even in the third set. I think it was never really, you know, comfortable, where you're a break up and you know you're going to win.

In the end of the day she played well. I played well in big parts of the match. And of course I had some chances there in the second set to close it out in two, but it wasn't to be.

Obviously it's not easy once you know you're out of the tournament, but, you know, I just really tried to fight. I gave it my all out there. She just played better than me today. You know, that's that. You just have to take the loss and that's it.

Q. Going into the match, knowing that you had to win in straight sets, obviously normally during a tournament you just know you just need to get a win. How much does that change your intensity, your focus, all of that?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Well, obviously it puts more pressure on you. You have to be out there and get a good start. You know, I did get a good start. I won the first set. And then it was very close till the end in the second set, and even the third, you know, I had my chances.

But it wasn't to be. There was a few points here or there that maybe could have changed, and, you know, it would have been a different scenario, but it wasn't to be today. That's just it.

You know, I can be proud of how I have been fighting all week. I can be proud of my season this year. I can be proud of not giving up at any point and just fighting till the end.

Q. Speaking of that, winning a slam in January, I guess maybe the one drawback is you don't really get to celebrate it. But now you can look back on the season and what you've been able to accomplish. Do you think it will sink in even more after this?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Well, I think most of the slams you get to celebrate because there is a long time before the next one. You know, it's kind of you're a slam champion or the reigning slam champion for a while. It's kind of nice. It's nice from January till -- May? It's quite a long time.

So it's been a great year. I won my first slam. I won in Beijing and in Eastbourne, and I think I can be proud of just the way that I have handled adversity and I have handled, you know, a lot of things this year.

You know, it's definitely been a tough year. I think it's been really difficult, because I think, you know, there is a lot of things going on and you just have to keep grinding.

It's just great that I can finish the year and say I have won three tournaments, won my first slam, and I gave it my all here. I wanted to defend my title, but it wasn't to be.

Q. Do you consider this the best year of your career?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I would, because I won my first slam and it's something that I fought for for a very long time. I got back to No. 1, which is something I have also fought for for a very long time. I think it was six years since my last stint at No. 1.

So to get back there I think is so tough and it's a long road. Very proud of being able to do that again. So I would say that this is my best year.

Q. You kind of mentioned, you know, difficult times throughout the year and at the same time it being your best season of your career. What were the kind of tough times, if you can reveal, in terms of what really was the struggle, I suppose?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Well, if I have to be honest, you know, I think after Wimbledon I wasn't feeling well. I thought it was just the flu. I was on vacation and I wasn't feeling good. I was like, you know, It's fine. I'm going to get over it.

I go to Washington. Knees are hurting, my leg is hurting. I'm like, Okay, well, just move on.

I play in Montreal, and something still doesn't feel right. You know, I wake up and I can't lift my arms over my head. I don't really know what it is. I go to the doctor and they tell me everything is fine. And then, you know, I'm, like, I know that I'm not fine.

So just doing a lot of research and just kind of just figuring out what's going on, and so for a while I thought maybe I have mono, maybe I have one of these. It turns out that I have an autoimmune disease, which is rheumatoid arthritis, which goes in and attacks your joints. Obviously when the body has a lot of fluids in it and you swell up, you get tired, you get exhausted, all these things.

So it's been a lot to just take in. 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 that there is and, you know, start treatment.

You know, in the end of the day, it's obviously not ideal for anybody, and, you know, I think when you're a professional athlete, it's also not even more ideal, but in the end of the day, you know, 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 and do about it.

You know, you just kind of move on from it and work through it and figure out how to deal with it and live with it. You know, that's that. I'm very proud of how I have been so positive through it all and just kind of tried to not let that hinder me.

You know, I think I didn't want to talk about it obviously during the year because I don't want to give anyone the edge or thinking that I'm not feeling well, but, you know, I have been feeling -- I have been feeling well. You know, 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 live and you're fine. You don't even feel like you have it.

So it's a lot. It's something that now I'm happy that I'm done with the season and you can just kind of control it a little bit more and figure out a plan how to control it even better in the future.

Q. I was just wondering whether the condition you have, whether it requires, like, care or treatment on a daily basis?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yes. It's an everyday thing. It's an autoimmune disease, so basically your immune system, instead of fighting the bacteria and everything that comes in or wants to come into your body, it mistakes your own body for being the disease. So it goes in and attacks itself.

So it's something that you just have to deal with every single day, and you have to listen to your body every single day and see what's going on today. There is some medications that can help you that they have done an incredible job even from 10, 15, 20 years ago till now. The medication has really improved, so that's amazing.

But other than that, you have to think about diet, sleep, everything else. You know, it's a lifetime thing. It's not something that just goes away.

You know, in the beginning, it was a shock, you know, just you feel like you're the fittest athlete out there, or that's in my head, you know, that's what I'm known for, and all of a sudden you have this to work with.

Yeah, it is what it is, and you just have to be positive and work with it, and there is ways that you can feel better so that's great.

Q. Just in terms of getting that news and, I mean, I can only presume it was a bit of a stunner, but were there any concerns, I guess, going forward about your career, about what you could do and all that? What advice did you get? Did you reach out to anybody to get a better idea of what you're dealing with?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, obviously I think -- you know, I got kind of the news before the US Open, and then once we kind of did a bunch of things, a bunch of tests for all sorts of things, and they're, like, We just have to say these are definitely not the things, and then you can try and figure out what it could be.

Honestly, I didn't want to look it up. I didn't want to Google it, because I was, like, you know, if you Google stuff, you feel like you're gonna die (smiling).

So I was, like, before the US Open, I'm just going to do my regular thing, do my regular routine, and then after the US Open I'll figure it out.

After the US Open, after the match, I was, like, I was kind of just pissed. So I'm, like, Okay, I'm going to Google it. I start Googling. I'm, like, oh, shoot, all these symptoms, this is exactly what I feel. Then it's you're going to live shorter, your heart may not work properly. I'm just, like, Oh, my God.

So I got to the doctor, and I'm, like, Is this true? She's like, No, don't worry, you're good. We're gonna figure it out.

You know, it's obviously something that you need to know and you need to get sorted. Once you get it sorted, thankfully I know my body so well, so I knew there was something not right. A lot of people wait, and they feel a little better and then they feel worse. They think just maybe they're tired or maybe something is just hurting.

But I caught it somewhat early, so that's great. You know, some people can go into remission and some people, it just stops the disease and it's just right there and it's not going to get worse, or if it does, it's slowly.

The medicine now is so amazing, so I'm not worried about it. So that's great. You just have to be aware. That's all.

Q. But you won Beijing, so that must have been quite the -- I mean, I know you were emotional in that run and getting that win. So what did that kind of mean to you after all of that?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think that meant so much to me. I think, you know, you obviously start, you know, asking yourself questions, what does this mean, does it mean I can't get in as great of shape as I was before? And, you know, honestly, the doctor was amazing. She just said, You can do whatever you want to do. It's not going to -- you have to feel your body. And a lot of it is also mental. You have to believe in yourself and you have to believe you can do it.

You know, obviously winning in Beijing was huge. It also gave me the belief that nothing is going to set me back. I'm just going to -- I'm going to work with this and this is how it is, and I can do anything.

So hopefully that's also going to be, you know, I'm sure there is -- I know there is a lot of people in the world that are fighting with this, and hopefully I can be, you know, someone they can look up to and say if I can do this, then they can too. And you just kind of have to get together and pull each other up.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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