Wozniacki praises boyfriend McIlroy after Australian Open first round win
Dane praises boyfriend McIlroy, who stayed up to watch her match after signing Nike mega-deal
Caroline Wozniacki thanked Rory McIlroy for staying up late to watch her victory at the Australian Open yesterday after her boyfriend announced a multi-million-dollar deal with Nike.
The Dane scrambled to a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 triumph over big-serving German Sabine Lisicki before revealing world No 1 golfer McIlroy burned the midnight oil in Abu Dhabi to watch her advance to the second round.
"I felt bad for him because I think he went to bed at about midnight their time, and woke up at about three their time, to watch me," she said of the Northern Irishman who plays his first tournament of the year this week. "Back to sleep for another couple of hours - that's a trouper. It's great to have that support and I know that he's always watching on the TV or on the computer. He has a big tournament coming up, his first tournament of the year, and hopefully he can have a good start to the year as well."
McIlroy had a hectic day that involved the announcement of his deal in the UAE capital with the sportswear and equipment giant in what is believed to be one of the biggest sponsorship contracts in sport.
No exact details of what the deal was worth were released, but press reports estimated it could bring the 23-year-old up to US$250 million over 10 years.
"It wasn't really a big surprise to me," Wozniacki smiled. "I kind of knew. It was a long day for him yesterday with a lot of media and a lot of things on.
"But I think it's great. I'm so happy it happened for him and I don't think it could have happened to a better person." Wozniacki, who finished 2010 and 2011 as the world's top-ranked player, has endured a year of on-court struggles as her ranking slid to her current 10.
She is yet to win a major championship - McIlroy has two - but buoyed by defeating the dangerous if erratic Lisicki, Wozniacki said she approached 2013 with refreshed optimism.
"To be honest, the pressure I feel is just from myself," she said.
"I want to go out there and play my best. I want to fight. I think I do that every time I play …
"If it's not good enough, you have to go back to practice and get better."
Immediately after the match, Wozniacki returned to a practice court.
As she did, McIlroy tweeted: "Off and running at the Australian Open ... now I can get a few more hours sleep!"