As our eyes turn to centre court, we’ve been asking ourselves, how many of these tennis-pros are runners? Whilst we’ve done some digging and found that plenty have plans to run in the future, one woman stands out when it comes to running achievements – Caroline Wozniacki.
The Danish tennis superstar took on her first marathon in 2014, running the New York City Marathon. Finishing in a very impressive 3:26:33, when asked about how running a marathon compared to some of her most difficult tennis games she said: “I’ve never tried anything this hard. This is the toughest physical test ever.
“Every time I go out onto a tennis court, I know what to expect. But this was completely different.”
After deciding to run on a whim, Wozniacki was only able to run up to 13 miles before the big day, as she was training during her tennis sessions. To guide her through her first marathon, she partnered with two pacers.
“When I said I wanted to run a marathon, I wanted to do it under four hours. But when I started training, I was like, Oh I got this, so I wanted to run between 3:30 and 3:35. I’m really proud of myself.”
Here’s what other famous tennis players said about running marathons:
Andy Murray: He might not be at Wimbledon this year, but Murray revealed he also has his sights set on 26.2 miles, one day. “I will definitely do a marathon at some stage” he said, “but now when I’m playing.”
Novak Djokovic: In an interview with USA Today, top-ranking men’s player Novak Djokovic said he’d like to run a marathon. “I don’t know which city [I’d run one in], but I think it will be after my career is over.”
Roger Federer: On the other hand, eight-time Wimbledon winner and 17-time Grand Slam singles champion, Roger Federer does not share the views of his fellow players when it comes to marathon training. In an interview with USA Today, he had no plans to run 26.2 miles as he doesn’t feel suited for the distance. “That’s totally different fitness we’re talking about,” Federer said, “that’s the endurance fitness that a tennis player doesn’t need, in my opinion. We run for 10 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds.” He also added that he finds running boring, so we won’t be waiting to watch him at the London marathon anytime soon.
Serena Williams: Ranked world number one by the Women’s Tennis Association on eight separate occasions, plus winning the Australian open pregnant, it seems there’s nothing Serena Williams can’t do. Yet in her mind, running a marathon is one of them. In an interview with Tennis World, Williams said: “my ass is too big to run a marathon.”
A version of this article appeared on runnersworld.com