After spending most of the last year and a half batting a shoulder injury, with a few false starts and some indifferent results when she finally did return, Aleksandra Wozniak was finally back on court in front of her home fans.
And the 26-year-old veteran pulled out a tough 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 victory over Vesna Doloncs of Serbia to give Canada a 1-0 lead in their World Group II first-round tie.
Wozniak rarely shows much emotion at all on the court. But she was in tears before she even arrived at the net to shake her opponent’s hand. It has been a long, bumpy road to get back on the court. And this was a terrific boost.
Here’s some video of her post-match press conference.
She had some help there; Doloncs was an unwilling accomplice with a number of untimely double faults.
The second set began the same was as the first. Down 0-3 quickly, it appeared for a moment Wozniak might end the set the same way. But the moment disappeared, the errors multiplied, and suddenly they were on to a decider.
Even then, Wozniak bobbled a little, although the quality of the tennis on both sides picked up a notch or two. She was up 5-2, was unable to close it out when she served for it at 5-3, then broke Doloncs – and broke into tears.
Eugenie Bouchard followed that up with a brutally ruthless dismissal of 20-year-old Jovana Jaksic.
The 6-1, 6-0 on-court lesson took less than an hour.
Canada is up 2-0, with Bouchard first up against Doloncs to try to clinch the tie in the first match.