Chances are pretty good that if any of us ever earned a $1.45 million check, we wouldn't forget to pick it up. And yet that's exactly what happened to Caroline Wozniacki after she finished runner-up to Serena Williams at the U.S. Open. Wozniacki gathered her trophy and her gear and took off, returning a short while later to claim her prize money.
It's one of many fine anecdotes in a new profile about Wozniacki in the Wall Street Journal. While most mainstream sports press of late had focused on Wozniacki as the jilted bride-to-be of golfer Rory McIlroy, she's coming out from under that perception, in part because of her U.S. Open performance and in part because she's a compelling figure regardless of whom she's dating. As the article notes, Wozniacki is communicative in eight languages, with more than 700,000 Twitter followers, and approximately $10 million in annual endorsement earnings.
Granted, the article is a nice bit of image management, but Wozniacki has plenty of public sympathy, as well as a record of achievement. She's 43-16 this season. She's also planning to run the New York Marathon this fall (in November, when her wedding had been scheduled). And she's poised to become one of the best-known, if not necessarily the best, tennis players of her generation.
If there are knocks on Wozniacki, it's these: she hasn't yet won a Grand Slam event. And she doesn't focus on her money nearly as much as she probably should, considering the many ways a professional athlete can see a huge bank account dwindle to nothing. But at 24, she's still very much on the ascent.