We saw Greg Norman and Chris Evert – they were married, but not for long – we had Sergio Garcia and Martina Hingis a few years ago, and more recently there was Adam Scott and Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic, but now, the latest liaison between a male golfer and female tennis player of world class is perhaps the most intriguing of them all, as Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki is being linked with Rory McIlroy.
Maybe the two athletes can help each other achieve their next goals, as each of them – in their respective sports – has what the other craves: Wozniacki is world number one but is desperate to win her first tennis Grand Slam title, whereas McIlroy has claimed his first Major triumph – in spectacular fashion at the 2011 US Open – but he eyes the number-one ranking from just a few pegs down, in fifth.
What sporting symmetry there would be to this couple if Wozniacki could end her barren run in the Grand Slams by lifting the US Open trophy in New York next month, and if McIlroy could climb those final steps to become golf’s number one.
Understandably, McIlroy is reluctant to discuss his new relationship, but when he arrived at the Irish Open at the end of July, one reporter could not resist a gentle inquiry by asking McIlroy if the strapping around two fingers was the result of playing tennis. “Very funny”, was all 22-year-old McIlroy would say, with a smile.
Wozniacki is the daughter of a former professional footballer and a devoted supporter of Liverpool FC. She even warmed up for a WTA tennis match earlier this season wearing a Liverpool shirt. McIlroy, on the other hand, is a staunch supporter of Liverpool’s age-old rival, Manchester United. So if a relationship between McIlroy and Wozniacki blossoms they may need to find room for compromise from time to time… just like any other couple.