Sports’ most successful couple continues to move ever closer to its shared dream of world domination, but as with any athletic adventure, the duo is finding a few bumps in the road.

Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki are fast becoming the most glamorous couple in the sporting sphere. Their relationship, which began following a chance meeting at a heavyweight boxing match in July, has it all: money, looks, luxury overseas vacations, even the ultimate confirmation in the form of a celebrity nickname (Wozzilroy).

And now, perhaps, a jealous ex-girlfriend to throw into the mix?

Golf phenomenon McIlroy split with childhood sweetheart Holly Sweeney earlier this year, ending a partnership of several years in which Sweeney was credited with keeping the 22-year-old from Northern Ireland focused during the frenetic early part of his career. But he has since formed the ultimate mixed doubles pairing with Wozniacki, the darling of the WTA tennis tour.

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That might have been the last we heard of Ms. Sweeney if not for the obsession in Ireland (and everywhere else) with celebrity and all things associated with it. Sweeney has largely remained silent on the split, but last week she was trundled out on a celebrity cooking show that could be the first of several appearances in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

A flurry of text messages from McIlroy begging her not to appear on the show apparently fell on deaf ears (or eyes, depending on your view) and even more embarrassingly for the sports couple, Sweeney seemed to poke fun at his new relationship by wearing a tight top and an ultra-skimpy tennis skirt.

However, with 2012 approaching there is plenty to put the duo back into a good mood. Marketing experts predict that being together will both enhance the brand of both McIlroy and Wozniacki, and lead to increased sponsorship and endorsement opportunities.

Previously, the highest-earning couple in sports was believed to be tennis ace Maria Sharapova and her boyfriend, New Jersey Nets guard Sasha Vujacic, although Wozzilroy should surge past them over the next year.

McIlroy currently sits at No. 2 in golf’s official ranking list behind Luke Donald, and has already claimed major silverware, romping to victory at the U.S. Open at Congressional earlier this year. Tiger Woods might have finally ended his long tournament drought last weekend, but McIlroy is very much the hot topic in golf and draws big crowds wherever he goes.


Wozniacki knows what it is like to sit at the top of the pile, having taken over top spot on the WTA Tour rankings towards the end of 2010 and retaining it ever since. Yet while McIlroy is still waiting for rankings justification of his belief that he is the best out there, Wozniacki has not yet backed up her consistency with a breakthrough triumph on the biggest stage.

Still, what better to strengthen a relationship than a few goals to tick off together, and more good times to look forward to? Indeed, being with a fellow sports icon is something McIlroy believes has actually helped his game.

"I think we definitely spur each other on,” McIlroy said. “She's No. 1 in the world and I've got a major, and we sort of both want what each other have. It's a big goal of mine. I want to become the best player in the world.”

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