World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki led spectators at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, Calif. in a moment of silence for the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Before their quarterfinal match on Thursday, Wozniacki and her good friend Victoria Azarenka brought a Japanese flag onto the court bearing the message "Our thoughts are with you." The players then stood for a moment of silence along with spectators at the event.
Wozniacki said she wanted to show victims of the disaster that players are thinking of them.
Getting the flag wasn't easy for the 20-year-old, as she explained later:
"I asked my manager if he could find a Japanese flag somewhere and he told me it was two hours' drive from here, and I said, 'You better take your car and drive over there and get that flag for me!' He got it and I talked to Victoria about it and she thought it was a great idea to do this. It puts everything in perspective. We were trying to think of what to write and wanted to keep it simple but still touching.
"I wanted the writing so perfect my hand almost cramped when I was doing it."
Though the execution may have been a tad hokey, the meaning behind the gesture is what matters. Wozniacki didn't have to do this. She could have been like most 20-year-old star athletes and said nothing. Instead, she took the time and effort to show solidarity with a country suffering from its worst natural disaster. And if that raises awareness of the tragedy in one person, then the simple gesture did its job.
- Caroline Wozniacki
- Victoria Azarenka