Winning return for Caroline Wozniacki in Montreal, after three years of absence

Winning return for Caroline Wozniacki in Montreal, after three years of absence

Of course, we will wait to see what happens, against an opponent of a different caliber, but it is clear that Caroline Wozniacki’s return to business is positive, after her victory in the first round of the Canada Open. , against Australian Kimberly Birrell (6-2, 6-2).

After ending her career after the 2020 Australian Open and giving birth to two children, the 33-year-old Dane decided to return to the courts, driven by the excellent sensations felt during her training. But there is a world between points played without pressure and those disputed in competition.

Curiosity was in order in Montreal. If Wozniacki had appeared very sharp at Roland-Garros last spring, as part of the Legends tournament, the main question was how his game would find its place in tennis in 2023.

In her best years, when she was world No. 1, Wozniacki was a wall. It wasn’t his attacking game or his power that drove his opponents crazy, it was his ground coverage and his ability to keep the ball in the court. After three years without competition, would these qualities prove to be sufficient in a women’s tennis always more oriented towards power?

Wozniacki didn’t doubt for long

We could doubt it during the first exchanges, where the modest Birrell (115th in the world) quickly managed to put Wozniacki away from the ball. The Danish ball seemed slow, but it was only a warm-up. Smiling like a junior when the referee, Pierre Bacchi, explained to her the protocols to follow during the match, Wozniacki just needed to find the right feelings and evacuate the inevitable stress generated by this return to the spotlight.

Guilty of two double faults in his first game of service, Wozniacki was breakered from the start. But she erased this handicap in the process. Faced with an opponent struggling with her serve, she steadily increased in power to establish her game by regaining her characteristic regularity. Unable to hold on once, Birrell could only see the damage in the opening set, which was lost 6-2.

It remained to be seen whether the former world No. 1 would continue its momentum or experience an understandable decompression after this first set. It was probably at this point in the match that his past experience served him the most. If Birrell tried to tighten the game, Wozniacki managed to maintain his level and continued to put pressure in return on the porcelain service of the Australian (10 double faults, 46% of points behind his first).

Once again a monster of regularity (15 fouls against 32 for his opponent), Wozniacki broke to lead 4-2. Completely liberated, she completed the match with a new break and a 13th winning point.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here