How a Twitter snap fuelled speculation that it's all over for Rory and Caroline
Rory McIlroy's relationship with his tennis star girlfriend has been over for weeks, sources close to the golf star have said.
Caroline Wozniacki is said to be "absolutely devastated" after the Holywood golfer decided to call time on their romance.
A source told a Sunday paper: "Yes they are over. It's a difficult time for them both but it is for the best in the long run."
It's understood Rory was becoming increasingly unhappy and after giving the romance one last unsuccessful try, McIlroy told the European beauty he couldn't do it anymore.
Friends say a photograph posted by Caroline on Twitter, which showed her boyfriend in a deep sleep, was one of the final straws.
One source said: "Rory was very upset by it and even Serena Williams pointed out – albeit in a joking way – it was a pretty mean thing to do."
It was reported the relationship ended days after the picture was posted to millions online.
The picture was shared on September 16 and remains on Caroline's Twitter feed. However, she hasn't mentioned the golfer in Tweets since that date. Major-winning McIlroy – who was home in Northern Ireland at the weekend alone – hasn't mentioned the women's tennis champ on Twitter since July 16.
Friends told the newspaper Caroline is still struggling to accept that the pair have split up.
"There were a lot of tears. She still has her profile picture on her social networking site set as the two of them in happier times, but I can tell you the pair are no longer an item," the source said.
"Rory has a lot of respect for Caroline and their time together was good, but he feels it's time to move on now. And he wishes her nothing but the best."
While Rory spent last week in Ireland having dinner with former American president Bill Clinton before playing a round of golf in Portmarnock, Caroline spent time lying low in Monaco where the former world number one lives.
When reports originally surfaced that the pair had ended their relationship, McIlroy took to Twitter, declaring informed sources were "wrong 99.9% of the time". However, he didn't deny the split.
Rory McIlroy (24) is a Major-winning golfer who grew up in Holywood, Co Down. He is a former world number one in his sport, as is Danish tennis champ Caroline Wozniacki. However, questions have been asked about an apparent dip in form suffered by both sports stars since they became an item. The couple began dating in the summer of 2011 after meeting at a boxing match in Hamburg.