Wozniacki Rolls In Return To Tennis In Montreal, Will Face Vondrousova Next; Swiatek, Gauff Wed.
After retiring form the game and not playing for 3.5 years, Caroline Wozniacki showed some rust. Rust for about 10 minutes.
In her return, the former No. 1 dropped her opening service game then rolled 6-2, 6-2 over qualifier Kimberly Birrell at the Canadian Open.
“I’m happy,” Wozniacki said to the WTA. “A little tired. Just it was fun to be out there again playing on center court in front of a big crowd. I’m just thrilled that I could win my first match in three and a half years.
“I didn’t really know what to expect, to be honest,” she said. “You have all these things in your head that this is how you’re supposed to be playing and you’re supposed to be doing this and that, but to be honest, I had no idea what I was going to come up with when I was out on court because I just haven’t played a real match in so long.”
Wozniacki will now face Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova who advanced past Mayar Sherif 6-4, 6-2. It was the Czech’s first match as a Grand Slam champion.
“Marketa has obviously been on fire,” Wozniacki added. “Played incredibly well at Wimbledon. Got out of some tough situations there along the way, but then really kept her nerves cool in the finals.
“Obviously a tough opponent, a lefty. That’s never easy to play a lefty with the ball going the other way. But, you know what, I have nothing to lose. I’m going to go out there and have fun regardless and see what happens.”
Another mom returning to the game had the exact opposite result as Elina Svitolina was dismantled by qualifier Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-2.
“So after playing a few long matches, I really feel in rhythm, and I felt like today I was really on with my shots and was able to take control of the points early and get off to a good start. Then I was able to really just keep the momentum going forward,” Collins said.
The much-anticipated match between Elena Rybakina and the returning Jennifer Brady was suspended due to rain with the American up 4-2 in the first set breaker.
Two other women withdrew. Former finalist Madison Keys letting Jasmine Paolini through due to a glute and Victoria Azarenka pulled out ahead of her big match with Sloane Stephens with an ab injury.
Elsewhere, the Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova stunned the 5th-seeded Caroline Garcia 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. Bouzkova has now come out ahead in all three of tour-level head-to-head collisions with Garcia.
Other matches saw, the 10th-seeded Daria Kasatkina besting Elise Mertens 6-4, 6-2. 2022 runner-up Beatriz Haddad Maia toppled Poland’s Magdalena Frech 6-4, 6-2.
No. 14 seed Karolina Muchova dismissed Russia’s Anastasia Potapova 7-6(7-4), 6-2. No. 15 seed Liudmila Samsonova sent out Katerina Siniakova in three 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. 20-year-old Qinwen Zheng handled the Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.
In a battle of former champions, Camila Giorgi eased past Bianca Andreescu 6-3, 6-2. The Canadian had a thigh issue which she says might keep her out of Cincinnati.
Wednesday’s ticket also will see the return of No. 1 Iga Swiatek who takes on former runner-up Karolina Pliskova. Swiatek is ahead of Pliskova 2-0 in their tour-level meetings.
No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka will meet Petra Martic with the two having split two tour-level clashes.
No. 4 Jessica Pegula will meet Yulia Putintseva, No. 6 Coco Gauff collides with Katie Boulter, No. 7 Petra Kvitova will challenge Giorgi and No. 8 Maria Sakkari clashes with Collins.
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