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Caroline Wozniacki made a winning return to the court at the National Bank Open in Montreal, more than three years after bidding farewell to tennis.
The 33-year-old, who walked away from the sport following the 2020 Australian Open and has since had two children, looked like she had never been away as she swept past Australian qualifier Kimberly Birrell 6-2 6-2.
“It feels great, my first match back in over three years and I was definitely a little rusty,” she said on court. “But what an amazing place to come back to play my first match.”
Wozniacki was understandably nervous at the start and threw in two double faults on her way to dropping serve in the first game.
But with the breezy conditions making serving tricky, five of the first six games were breaks, with Wozniacki’s sole hold giving her the advantage and she wrapped up the opening set in 43 minutes.
The former world number one, who won the Australian Open in 2018, aims to be fully up to speed in time for the US Open later this month.
So she will have been pleased with the battling service holds she had to make as the plucky Birrell put her under pressure in the second set.
However, Wozniacki finished the job on her first match point, a backhand winner down the line before raising her arms in delight.
However, it is straight back to parental duties for the Dane following her first win as a mother.
“That’s pretty crazy,” she added. “I was just looking at the clock and my kids are napping now. That’s the good part about playing early – I still have the afternoon with them.”