Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki marked her return to Grand Slam action for the first time in more than three years with a 6-3 6-2 win over Russian qualifier Tatiana Prozorova on Monday to reach the second round at the U.S. Open.
Wozniacki is competing in her third tournament since returning to the tour in Montreal and playing in Cincinnati this month after retiring in 2020 to start a family, but the Dane’s vast experience shone through against 19-year-old Prozorova.
“It feels amazing to be back,” said Wozniacki, who booked a place in the next round against Czech 11th seed Petra Kvitova.
“Obviously I was very nervous coming out here, I haven’t been here since 2019 and a lot has happened since then.
“It just feels amazing to have the chance out here on this big court, playing a night session and getting a win under my belt. It feels so special.”
Both players surrendered serve early in the match before the 33-year-old Wozniacki stepped up the pressure from 3-3, breaking her opponent twice more on the back of some relentless returns to win the opening set.
Wozniacki shifted up another gear following a delayed start to the next set due to Prozorova’s medical timeout, as the Dane sealed a crucial point after a 30-shot rally en route to grabbing a 3-1 lead.
The former Australian Open champion wobbled on serve at 5-1 but broke Prozorova immediately afterwards to close out the win.
“Obviously it only gets tougher from here. I’m playing Petra next, someone I know very well and have played many, many times. I kind of know what to expect,” Wozniacki said.
“I’ve got to play better next match to beat her, but so does she. I think it’s going to be an exciting one. It’s going to be a good match out there.”
Kvitova has won eight of their 14 previous meetings.
“Could I have had maybe a little bit of an easier draw? Probably. But at the same time I’m also a wildcard. We could have met in the first round,” Wozniacki said.
“At the same time I’m just out there to compete. I know myself, my competitiveness. I know if I’m playing my best tennis I believe that I can beat anyone in the draw.
“It could be anything out there in the next match, but I hope it’s going to be a great match. That’s why I’m here. I want to compete. I want to play against the best players.”
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