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Caroline Wozniacki
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Caroline Wozniacki sets tennis retirement

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Former No. 1 and 2018 Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki will retire from professional tennis after competing in Melbourne next year.

The 29-year-old from Denmark wrote in an Instagram post on Friday that she wants to start a family with her husband, former NBA player David Lee, and work to raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis.

Wozniacki said her decision to stop playing “has nothing to do with my health.” She announced in October 2018 that she has rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition that can cause pain and swelling in the wrist and other joints.

“I’ve always told myself, when the time comes, that there are things away from tennis that I want to do more, then it’s time to be done,” Wozniacki wrote. “In recent months, I’ve realized that there is a lot more in life that I’d like to accomplish off the court.”

She is currently ranked No. 37 after going 20-15 without a singles title in 2019.

Coached for much of her career by her father, Piotr, a former professional soccer player, Wozniacki used tremendous court coverage — she ran in the New York City Marathon — and uncanny ability to get back shot after shot from opponents in a counter-punching style to win 30 WTA titles, including the season-ending tour championships in 2017.

She also reached three Grand Slam finals.

At just 19, Wozniacki was the runner-up to Kim Clijsters at the 2009 U.S. Open, then again was the runner-up at Flushing Meadows in 2014 to her good friend Serena Williams.

Wozniacki claimed her first major championship in her third such final, and 43rd appearance in a Grand Slam tournament, at last year’s Australian Open. She beat Simona Halep in a three-set final to return to the top of the rankings after a six-year absence, a record.

As someone who had played so well, for so long, without ever quite claiming one of her sport’s most important trophies until then, Wozniacki was thrilled to set aside all of the questions about whether she ever would win a major title.

She has earned more than $35 million in prize money — along with millions more in endorsements — and owns a win-loss record of 630-262. She spent 71 weeks at No. 1 and competed in three Olympics, carrying the flag for Denmark at the Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony.

“I’ve accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court,” she wrote.

The Australian Open begins on Jan. 20.

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I’ve played professionally since I was 15 years old. In that time I’ve experienced an amazing first chapter of my life. With 30 WTA singles titles, a world #1 ranking for 71 weeks, a WTA Finals victory, 3 Olympics, including carrying the flag for my native Denmark, and winning the 2018 Australian Open Grand slam championship, I’ve accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court. I’ve always told myself, when the time comes, that there are things away from tennis that I want to do more, then it’s time to be done. In recent months, I’ve realized that there is a lot more in life that I’d like to accomplish off the court. Getting married to David was one of those goals and starting a family with him while continuing to travel the world and helping raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis (project upcoming) are all passions of mine moving forward. So with that, today I am announcing that I will be retiring from professional tennis after the Australian Open in January. This has nothing to do with my health and this isn’t a goodbye, I look forward to sharing my exciting journey ahead with all of you! Finally, I want to thank with all my heart, the fans, my friends, my sponsors, my team, especially my father as my coach, my husband, and my family for decades of support! Without all of you I could have never have done this!

A post shared by Caroline Wozniacki (@carowozniacki) on

12-year-old competes at world curling championship

Nathalie Wiksten
World Curling
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In a sport where athletes in their 40s and 50s have won Olympic medals, a 12-year-old girl competed at a world championship last week.

Nathalie Wiksten and her dad, Kasper, made up Denmark’s team at the world mixed doubles curling championship in Lethbridge, Canada.

“We just started [competing] this year for fun,” Kasper said at worlds. “It was supposed to be just a father-daughter thing. And then, suddenly, we qualify for the worlds. So it’s been going really fast. But we love it.”

Mixed doubles makes its Olympic debut in PyeongChang. Worlds in Lethbridge marked the final qualifying event.

The Wikstens did not qualify an Olympic spot for Denmark, finishing 2-5 in group play and failing to reach the 16-team knockout stage.

“We had some disappointing games where it would have been nice to play better,” Kasper said, according to the World Curling Federation. “[Playing with Nathalie], I can’t describe it. I think we have learned a lot, especially Nathalie has, because I think the most import thing for us was to come here and learn something about the mixed doubles game.”

There is no age minimum for curling at the Olympics.

The youngest Olympic curler of all time was German Stella Heiss, who competed at Vancouver 2010 at age 17, according to Olympic historians.

American Erika Brown competed at the 1988 Olympics at age 15, when curling was an unofficial demonstration sport, and again in Sochi at age 41.

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Father daughter team Kasper Wiksten and Natalie Asp Wiksten of Denmark share their experience at #WMDCC2017. Did you know Natalie is just 12 years old!

Posted by World Curling Federation on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Badminton fastest smash record broken (video)

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Denmark’s Mads Pieler Kolding broke the record for fastest badminton smash in a competition in India on Monday, according to Danish media.

Kolding, who has not competed in the Olympics, recorded 264 miles per hour, according to a broadcast and Danish media.

That would break the Guinness World Record of 253 mph set by three-time Olympic silver medalist Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in 2015.

However, the fastest smash outside of competition is reportedly 306 mph, reportedly recorded here.

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