Dubai: “Will she take the plunge?” was the big question on Sunday afternoon as we met Danish tennis champion Caroline Wozniacki.
Don’t let your imagination go into overdrive: we’re not scrutinising her relationship with golfer boyfriend Rory McIlroy — or that sparkling sapphire ring surrounded by diamonds.
Our doubts were far more innocent. During a video shoot at Wild Wadi Waterpark in Jumeirah, we were wondering whether the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships player, clad in a black Adidas swimsuit, would be game to try on Wild Wadi’s scariest water slide, the Jumeirah Sceirah.
“Let’s do it before I lose my nerve. Rory said he will do it if I do it today,” said Wozniacki as she stepped into a transparent trap-door, gearing herself up for the vertical drop. Not for the faint-hearted, the 32-metre-high, 120-metre-long Jumeirah Sceirah water slide drops riders through a trapdoor down 10 metres at a 70-degree angle.
Wozniacki survived to tell the triumphant tale and said she was keen to do it all over again as she high-fived Wild Wadi Water Park’s general manager Chris Perry.
“It was so much fun. I am really proud of myself… I was a bit scared but I like conquering fears. I expected the first drop, but the second one I didn’t see it coming. It was thrilling,” said Wozniacki, feasting on a chocolate ice cream bar after her stunt, tweeting an impish picture with just one word: “Proof @McIlroyRory”.
“When people have doubts, I like to prove them wrong. I will be back here to try all these rides again. It was a great afternoon,” she said.
The 22-year-old beauty is something of an adrenaline junkie, requiring very little prodding to jump on the thrilling rides, master blaster and simulated surfing flowriders.
With her arms stretched wide, the Dubai Duty Free ambassador was more than happy to pose for the camera crew who were filming her every move for a video about Dubai’s top attractions.
She may have been clad in a practical black swimsuit, but there was no ignoring the diamonds adorning her fit body. A tennis bracelet on her wrist, heart-shaped diamond studs in her ears, a diamond ring on each hand and a chain with a heart-shaped pendant gleamed in the sun.
“I am a girly girl. I enjoy what I do and I enjoy my life. I like to dress up and wear nice jewellery and look nice,” said Wozniacki. However, the poster girl for tennis doesn’t take anything for granted.
“I don’t think about success too much. Being a pin-up girl just shows that there are lots of people who support me and like what I do. It’s a great honour to be a young role model for so many people out there,” said Wozniacki.
Like a regular 20-something, when she isn’t working, she’s busy catching up on Hollywood films. Ask about her favourite star-struck moment and she says: “Meeting Josh Hartnett. I have always looked up to him. But I also wouldn’t mind running into Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.”
Her last wish may not have been granted at Wild Wadi, but she did get her thrills from testing out the gravity-defying rides. Visitors at the waterpark also got more than what they had bargained for: a thrilling sight of a formidable tennis player in her downtime.