Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki completes maiden marathon in 3hr 26min

Tennis player Caroline Wozniacki (left) of Denmark is congratulated by US tennis player Serena Williams at the finish line of the New York City Marathon in New York on Nov 2, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Tennis player Caroline Wozniacki (left) of Denmark is congratulated by US tennis player Serena Williams at the finish line of the New York City Marathon in New York on Nov 2, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Caroline Wozniacki has endured many gruelling matches during her professional tennis career but she said none of them compared to the test she put her body through while running the New York City Marathon on Sunday.

Wozniacki, who was aided by two pace setters, completed her maiden marathon in an impressive three hours 26 minutes 33 seconds, beating her target of 3:30 by averaging 7:53 per mile. "I've never tried anything this hard," Wozniacki said after the 42.2km (26.2 mile) race that covers all five New York City boroughs. "This is the hardest thing... the toughest physical test ever."

The 24-year-old Dane, a former world No. 1 tennis player who is currently ranked No. 8, ran for a charity benefitting youth runners. With her time, she qualified for next year's Boston Marathon, but Wozniacki said she will probably hold off on marathon running for at least a few years.

"At 20 miles, (with) six miles left, I'm like, 'I'm never running another marathon again,'" said Wozniacki. Crossing the finish line in Central Park, Wozniacki was greeted by good friend world No. 1 Serena Williams, with whom she attended New York Rangers ice hockey game on Saturday. "I think she said, 'I'm proud of you. Unbelievable! Well done! Great job!' All of that," said Wozniacki.

"But honestly, I think I was just so exhausted and so happy at the same time, I don't really know. I just know she came in to hug me and gave me the (finisher's) medal."