French Open 2014: Caroline Wozniacki beaten in first match since split from Rory McIlroy

Former World No 1 fails to make it past first round at French Open

There will be no "Wentworth moment" for Caroline Wozniacki. Days after her fiancé, the golfer Rory McIlroy, put aside the pain of their parting to win the BMW PGA Championship, Wozniacki lost here in the first round of the French Open. The 23-year-old Dane was beaten 7-6, 4-6, 6-2 by Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer, who stands 50 places beneath her at No 64 in the world rankings.

Although nobody had expected Wozniacki to win the tournament, this was a disappointing performance even by her declining standards. The world No 14, who has won just one title in the last 19 months, was regularly outrallied and outhit by Wickmayer, a powerful if erratic ball-striker.

Wozniacki, who has had knee and wrist injuries recently, said afterwards: "I guess I'm getting old. It's like a car that is 10 years old. All of sudden it starts breaking down. It was great at the beginning and now it needs a service more often."

Facing the media for the first time since McIlroy announced last week that their wedding was off, Wozniacki did not want to talk about her private life but offered thanks for her many messages of support. The former world No 1 went on to say she was "not prepared for something like this and it came as a bit of a shock".

Nevertheless, Wozniacki said she had not considered pulling out of the tournament. "I always wanted to play here," she said. "You need to just keep going and keep moving forward. This is what I do. This is my profession."

Wozniacki appears determined to put a brave face on her situation. She was out on the town on Sunday night with her good friend, Serena Williams, and could hardly have chosen a brighter outfit out on Court Two. On a chilly afternoon Wozniacki wore a bright green skirt and an orange, white and pink long-sleeved top.

While Wickmayer had the support of her fellow Belgian, Kim Clijsters, Wozniacki's entourage was led by her father, Piotr, who is also her coach. "I think your family will always be there for you no matter what happens," Wozniacki said. "I think it's great to have that base or that support so close to you."

Chris Evert, who knows all about the pain of failed engagements after her wedding to Jimmy Connors was called off in 1974, expressed sympathy with Wozniacki. The six-times French Open champion, now a commentator for ESPN, said she was not surprised by Wozniacki's break-up.

"I look back at Jimmy and I," Evert said. "To look at two players that are in the prime of their career and are striving to be No 1 and don't see each other… I was married in my twenties to my tennis. That was the only way I could put all my emotions and energies into that goal. I was in awe that it worked as long as it did. I can't believe it.

"They must be just different kind of people. I understand 100 per cent that you're married to your career. You're using your emotions. You're using the mental capacity that you have. You're putting everything into it. That's what it takes to be the best."

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?