Caroline Wozniacki insists she feels respected following her return to tennis but she believes more needs to be done to support mothers on tour.

The former world No 1 came out of retirement last summer after a gap of three-and-a-half years, during which time she had two children.

Wozniacki’s father and coach Piotr caused a stir last month when he castigated the sport in an interview in the Polish media, calling women’s tennis “pathological” after the Italian Open and French Open both declined to give his daughter a wild card.

Piotr suggested Wozniacki was so frustrated she would hang up her racket again before next season, but that was shot down by Caroline.

Wozniacki said: “I think sometimes my dad gets a little ahead of himself. It’s definitely not something we’ve talked about.”

The 33-year-old is one of a growing band of mothers on tour but the length of her absence means, unlike Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber, she does not have a protected ranking and has been relying on wild cards to enter the big tournaments.

Until recently, she had not found those hard to come by and she does not share her father’s view that she has been disrespected, although she does believe more needs to be done in terms of understanding the needs of mothers.

“I think I’ve been treated very well,” she said. “The tournaments have really embraced me coming back and with kids.

“Where I do share my view, and where a lot of other women on tour share the view, is I think there should be more done for women coming back from maternity leave.

“It has been looked at because obviously there are more players now that want to come back but, at the same time, it’s not the same as coming back from an injury.

“As someone who came back after almost four years, I think when you give birth and for the body to recover, you’ve grown a human inside you, there’s a lot of changes that are happening in the body after that.

“I think in general women deserve more time to feel, ‘OK, now I’m ready, I can really prepare and get ready for competing at the highest level’.”

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Wozniacki made this incredible shot against Iga Swiatek and actor Will Ferrell showed his appreciation

Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam where Wozniacki has not reached at least the quarter-finals but, having played in the legends event last year, she is eager to return to the main draw for the first time since 2019 having requested a wild card to play at the All England Club.

“I’ve been preparing for the grass. I feel confident, I feel comfortable and I want to prepare for Wimbledon as best as possible,” the Danish superstar told Sky Sports.

“We’re coming into my best part of the season which is grass and hard courts, so those are two surfaces I feel very comfortable and confident at.

“Wimbledon is such a special event. It has the history and I think it’s a little bit like the Masters in golf when you walk into Wimbledon. You can’t really explain it to someone who hasn’t been there before. It’s an incredibly special place which has this aura around it.

“I’ve played on Centre Court multiple times and you just see and feel how everyone is just so knowledgeable and respectful. And with the way the ball hit the grass there’s just something so special about that. It’s definitely a place that has brought me a lot of special memories.

“For me, right now, it’s to get as comfortable and as well prepared as I possibly can for Wimbledon which is obviously my main goal and then we see how I do at Wimbledon but I believe in myself. I believe when I play my best tennis I can beat anyone especially on a surface like grass.

“I feel like my game is suited to my game well and it’s all about picking my targets and hitting my shots.”

Wozniacki is also excited to potentially share the Wimbledon experience with her children – three-year-old Olivia and one-year-old James – who travel with her on tour.

“I’ve been very proud of the way I’ve been able to come back and handled myself,” she said. “I think it’s so special to be able to do it with my kids. Having them see me play and doing this really has been a special moment for me and my family and so I’ve been very proud of the way I’ve been fighting.

“I just take it one tournament at a time.”

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