SAPAKOFF COLUMN: Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy are their own paparazzi
Oh, that prankster Caroline Wozniacki. Asked at the Family Circle Cup about April Fool's jokes, the 22-year-old blonde multi-millionaire from Denmark giggled.
“It only works on my manager,” she said. “I just said, 'I'm engaged to Rory' and he's like, 'Oh, really? Congratulations!' He falls for it every year.”
Hilarious material. But the love-love match between young stars recently ranked No. 1 in their respective sports is serious social media business.
Caroline Wozniacki is at the Family Circle Cup on Daniel Island this week. The No. 2 seed plays today against Silvia Soler-Espinosa. Next week it's off to Augusta to watch Rory McIlroy at the Masters.
They are the ultimate Charleston sports power couple: Wozniacki won the Family Circle Cup in 2011 and McIlroy won the PGA Championship last August at the Ocean Course.
And they are an open book.
Some celebrity couples clash with paparazzi. Wozniacki and McIlroy compete with paparazzi, frequently updating Twitter followers with new fodder and photos.
“I want to live my life as I want to live it,” said Wozniacki, who has earned more than $15 million in prize money. “Whether it's in the media spotlight or not, I don't feel like I want to live in a prison. I want to do what I would have done anyway. Some people will maybe like you, some people maybe not. You can't make everybody happy. But, for me, the most important thing is that I enjoy my life and I enjoy what I do.”
Oh, to be 22
It was love at first fight: Caroline and Rory met at a Vladimir Klitschko-David Haye boxing bout in Germany in July of 2011.
There have been other high-profile sports romances, including Chris Evert and Jimmy Connors in tennis (didn't last long), and soccer star Mia Hamm and shortstop Nomar Garciaparra (still married).
Those relationships weren't unfolding in real time online.
Wozniacki this weekend offered “Happy Easter” tweets and King Street restaurant praise (“Amazing food at the @hallschophouse tonight!! The best steaks and the best service in town!! Oh.. And the desserts were fantastic!!”).
But the Rory stuff gets the most notice.
At the Sony Open in Miami this month, Wozniacki tweeted a photo with Rory and a certain blonde woman wearing a wig of curly black hair. “Here is me trying to do mwy best @McIlroyRory impression at the players party last night!” she said.
“My parents always told me that it doesn't matter who you are or who you become, you should always act the same way,” Wozniacki said on Daniel Island. “I don't really think about the media. I just do whatever I want to do and whatever anyone else who is 22 would do.”
Next week: Augusta
Next week's Masters sideshow figures to include No. 1-ranked Tiger Woods with his new girlfriend, skier Lindsey Vonn, plus the Charleston charmers.
Meanwhile, back on the court, Wozniacki fell from No. 1, her status at the end of 2009 and 2010 seasons, to No. 10 last year (she is No. 10 this week). She tends not to play well against the best players and has reached only one Grand Slam final, the U.S. Open in 2009.
She has fired two coaches in the last year, going back to the tutelage of her father, Piotr. Critics point to off-court distractions, including an underwear ad campaign.
But Wozniacki seems properly focused this week, brushing off talk of a Family Circle Cup title to follow McIlroy's PGA crown.
“It would be great,” she said. “But that's not really what I'm thinking about. I'm just thinking that I want to play well.”
Picture perfect: Family Circle Cup glory for Caroline on the way to cheer for Rory, complete with “media spotlight” updates from Augusta.
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff.