Why did Ryder Cup hero Rory McIlroy break up with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki?

Kevin Palmer
Caroline Wozniacki in the 2017 ESPN Body Issue
Caroline Wozniacki in the 2017 ESPN Body Issue

They were the dream sporting couple who were at the top of their sporting powers, yet marriage was not to be for golfer Rory McIlroy and tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.

McIlroy and Wozniacki enjoyed a high-profile romance that appeared to be reaching a happy conclusion when the couple announced their engagement in 2013 and then confirmed they were making wedding plans a year later.

It was at that point that McIlroy pulled the plug on the relationship, with reports suggesting the relationship was ended with a brief phone call.

In a statement released to the public at the time, McIlroy said: “The wedding invitations made me realise that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails.

“I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we’ve had.”

Wozniacki spoke about the break-up during an interview with Yahoo News as she said: “It was very hard because he made it very public from the start. He put out a press release so I didn’t have a choice, you know, it just got put in my face.

“Oh I was shocked. I thought at least, you know, I would get a face-to-face or something. But there was nothing – it was just a phone call and I did not hear from him again.

“I don’t think you expect to find yourself in a situation like that, you can’t prepare yourself or your body for anything like that so I think I was in a bit of a shocked phase there for a while.”

Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy were a sporting power couple
Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy were a sporting power couple

Wozniacki used her social media platforms to have a jab back at McIlory after the break up, as she poked fun at her diminutive ex with this message: “Out and about in Istanbul. It’s been three years since I have worn high heels on a normal day out. #feelsgood #looksgood #shopping #highheels #sun'”

It didn’t take long for Wozniacki to move on from McIlroy as in 2017, she announced her engagement to her NBA “soulmate” David Lee.

The tennis star announced the news with a picture of her huge diamond engagement ring on Twitter.

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The 27-year-old said: “Happiest day of my life yesterday saying yes to my soulmate David Lee.”

Caroline Wozniacki with her expanding family
Caroline Wozniacki with her expanding family

Lee is a former forward for the San Antonio Spurs and has also played for Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks and the San Antionio Spurs.

McIlroy also got married in 2017, as he tied the knot with sweetheart Erica Stoll in the west of Ireland.

The lavish ceremony in the 13th-century Ashford Castle was being billed as the wedding of the year, taking place at an exclusive estate, in the village of Cong in Co Mayo.

The castle, with its 350 acres, nine-hole golf course, horseriding, falconry, fishing and clay pigeon shooting, can be rented for about 100,000 euro (£83,700) a day.

“It was awesome, it was the best weekend of my life and hopefully of Erica’s as well,” said McIlroy of his wedding.

“It was really cool. We tried to keep it as private as possible, it was between our friends and families and we didn’t really want anything else.

“It was a weekend of celebrations. We had a welcome reception on the Friday, the whole wedding day on the Saturday and a farewell brunch on Sunday. We spent three really nice days with the people we cherish the most and that was really special.”

A McIlroy/Wozniacki marriage may have been great news for the tabloid media, but they have still got plenty of coverage from these two enduring sporting heroes who were destined to enjoy fame and fortune away from each other.

Wozniacki certainly seems to be happy with her man and she confirmed he was supportive of her return to tennis earlier this year after the couple had two children in the last three years.

“Over these past three years away from the game I got to make up for lost time with my family, I became a mother and now have two beautiful children I am so grateful for,” she wrote on Twitter.

“But I still have goals I want to accomplish. I want to show my kids that you can pursue your dreams no matter your age or role.

“We decided as a family it’s time. I’m coming back to play and I can’t wait!”

She went on to enjoy a thrilling return to the game, reaching the last-16 at the US Open as she showed signs that she can still be a threat at the top of the women’s game.