INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Intense media scrutiny is part and parcel of dating a high-profile athlete, but for Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy, each match, round, press conference and tweet are put under the microscope for clues to explain their weekly results. That level of attention might be enough to crush some relationships, but Wozniacki says it’s all just white noise for the couple.
“We’ve been in the media spotlight for so long separate as well, you know, so it’s not like it’s something new,” she told a small group of reporters at the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday. “I think we’ve gotten used to that part of it. We don’t really pay attention to it anymore. Unless it’s a rumor like the there was the other day that we’ve broken up and I was like ‘Oh really? I didn’t realize that. Thanks for letting me know.’”
Rumors of a break-up swirled this week after McIlroy abandoned the Honda Classic mid-round and Wozniacki lost in the first round of Kuala Lumpur to a low-ranked Chinese qualifier. Shortly thereafter, McIlroy went on record to bury the breakup rumors.
Their one-and-a-half year relationship has been a lightning rod ever since Wozniacki’s ranking dropped in the rankings from No. 1 at the beginning of last year to No. 10 now, and McIlroy, though still the No. 1 golfer in the world, has had his fair share of struggles this season as well. But Wozniacki cut off any line of inquiries talking down the current state of her game.
“I don’t think I have a problem,” she said. ”When you’re No. 1 and not winning everything there’s basically one way [to go] and that way is down. You can’t really go further up than that. I mean, I’m healthy, I’m playing, I feel I’m playing well.
“So people can say what they want. But I have a life and I’m happy I have a life, as well. “
Wozniacki may have defended her tennis but made no effort to talk up her golf game, which is still a work in progress.
“I like it but it’s frustrating. The ball is right there, it doesn’t move, so how hard can it be, you know? We play a sport where we have to actually move to the ball because it’s moving away from us but for some reason that’s easier for me.”
“I think I can’t complain about the teacher. I think it’s more the player. Last time Rory and I went playing we played on a par 3 course we played eight holes and I made four pars so I was pretty proud of that…. Other times, I’m terrible. So I only talk about the good times, the rest I don’t remember.”