Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Two sets and done for Wozniak at women's Rogers Cup

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MONTREAL -- The Rogers Cup has lost its top-ranked Canadian as local favourite Aleksandra Wozniak of Blainville, Que., fell in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 to Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland in front of a strong centre-court crowd at Uniprix Stadium on Monday night.

"It was such a wonderful atmosphere out there. It's sad to lose here in Montreal in front of all your fans who have been supporting me since I was little," Wozniak said. "You always want to bring as many wins for them as you can."

It was the first time Wozniak, ranked 53rd in the world, had faced the 49th-ranked Bacsinszky in her career.

There was some question as to whether Wozniak would be able to play in Montreal as she has battled tendinitis in her right forearm, and she was wearing tape on the damaged forearm during Monday evening's match.

It was only Wozniak's second tournament since losing to Jelena Jankovic in the second round at Wimbledon in June, with the tendinitis first flaring up three weeks ago at Stanford, the site of her first WTA tournament win in 2008.

Her right arm was immobilized for two weeks afterwards and she only began practising again last week.

"Playing one match in six weeks makes a difference. When you get out on the court, you have no rhythm," she said. "I couldn't expect too much out of myself with all the practice and matches I missed. But my opponent deserves a lot of credit. She played a great match."

Bacsinszky's serve was extremely erratic, with only 39 per cent of her first serves in, but Wozniak was unable to take advantage and ultimately fell in the first round of her home tournament for a second straight year.

Wozniak began the match well with three service winners and an ace in the opening game, but she began to go downhill when Bacsinszky broke her serve to go ahead 2-1 in the first set.

Wozniak wasted a break-point opportunity in the subsequent game, then double faulted twice in a row to hand Bacsinszky another break for a 4-1 lead.

It was the same pattern in the second set as Bacsinszky got a break to go ahead 3-1 and never looked back, winning in straight sets in a swift 64 minutes.

The tournament also lost all of its Canadian content in the doubles portion on day 1.

Marie-Eve Pelletier of Repentigny, Que., and Toronto's Sharon Fichman fell 6-3, 7-5 to the team of Daniela Hantuchova and Caroline Wozniacki. Heidi El Tabakh of Oakville, Ont., and Vancouver's Rebecca Marino also dropped their first-round match 6-2, 6-1 to the sixth-seeded team of Yung-Jan Chan and Jie Zheng.

El Tabakh qualified for the main singles draw and will play her first-round match today against Russian Alisa Kleybanova. Audrey Tetreault of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., will get her tournament underway against 17th-seed Marion Bartoli of France.

The tournament had its first upset in the first match as 14th-seed Shahar Peer of Israel suffered a straight-set loss to Estonia's Kaia Kenepi 6-3, 6-3.

Crowd favourite Aravane Rezai of France was nearly ousted as well, but the 16th seed recovered in time to defeat Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-7 (1), 7-5, 6-3, to the delight of the centre-court fans.

"Without the public's support, I really don't think I could have come back," Rezai told the crowd on court after the match.

Her victory was a battle, saving 12 of 18 break-point opportunities for Kvitova in the match and seven of 10 over the final two sets.

 

-- The Canadian Press

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 17, 2010 B11

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