Caroline Wozniacki insisted Monday she did nothing wrong when quitting a match while leading 7-5, 5-0, saying the decision had nothing to do with betting.
The 19-year-old Dane retired at the Luxembourg Open with a hamstring injury last week while leading Anne Kremer of Luxembourg when she was just one game away from victory.
Wozniacki’s father Piotr had been overheard earlier telling Wozniacki to quit before winning because she wouldn’t be able to play in the next round. The comments led to a surge in online bets backing Kremer to win, prompting an investigation by the WTA Tour.
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Wozniacki acknowledged that her father told her to quit – but only because she was in too much pain to continue.
“There was no chance for me to finish, so I decided to stop,” she said Monday ahead of the WTA‘s season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships. “I don’t have anything to do with betting … so I don’t see any problems.”
Wozniacki said she first felt the injury while serving at 5-5 in the first set, and received medical treatment on her left leg later in that game. She tried to continue playing, but “the pain just got worse.”
Her father then came onto the court at 3-0 in the second, and was picked up by microphones advising her to retire.
“That was the first time he could come on court,” Wozniacki said. “He said, ‘It doesn’t matter what the score is going to be, if your pain is going to be worse, there’s no sense to continue. … If you cannot continue, you have to stop because you don’t want to ruin also this tournament (in Doha).”‘
Wozniacki said she went to the hospital the next day, and that a scan showed she had strained a muscle. She was taped around her left thigh when training Monday but said she hopes to be able to compete in the lucrative eight-player tournament, which begins Tuesday with a round-robin stage.
“I’m getting better,” she said. “I’m having treatment every day. We’ll see how everything is going to turn out here.”
Tour officials said last week they were looking into the match, and would pass along the information to the Tennis Integrity Unit, which was created by the sport’s governing bodies last year to combat gambling and match-fixing. The unit does not comment on ongoing investigations.
Wozniacki said she has discussed her reasons for quitting with tour representatives, and that she does not expect any punishment.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” she said. “I think it’s just regular procedure that they have someone who’s looking into it, but I talked to them. There is nothing suspicious about the match that way. So it’s not really a big deal.”