Sport | Tennis

Canadian star Wozniak driven by Olympic ambition

Former No 21 battling back from wrist injury

  • By Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 February 20, 2012
  • Gulf News

Dubai: Aleksandra Wozniak is backing herself to represent Canada at this year's London Olympics as she battles her way back from a long-term injury.

The former world No 21 faces either Virginie Razzano of France or Polona Hercog of Slovenia today in the final qualifying round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

"It took me one full year after my wrist got injured last season," she told Gulf News.

"I have slipped in my rankings, so the goal would be to get back into the top-50 within the next couple of months."

Wozniak sent India's Sania Mirza packing in three sets on the opening day of the qualifiers on Saturday.

In her second round match yesterday, the 24-year-old who hails from Quebec needed another three sets, lasting two hours and 20 minutes, to battle past Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine, 6-7, 6-3, 6-1.

"I slipped down to 200, but now I have managed to get back to 85," she said.

"So right now I am concentrated on getting back to the top again by taking it one match at a time.

"Overall, I am just trying to be at the Olympics, so it is important for me to be in the top 50 in a couple of months.

"I want to represent my country at the Olympics and I am fighting for that.

"For sure I want to try and stay healthy as I have been struggling with injuries, and the best is to play a lot of matches and get back into the top 50."

The Canadian's career-best No 21 came in June 2009 and made her the fourth-highest ranked Canadian singles player of all time.

At the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford in 2008, Wozniak became the first Canadian in 20 years to capture a WTA singles crown, to add to eight titles on the ITF tour.

Order of play

Today: Centre Court (Start at 2 pm) Maria Kirilenko vs Monica Niculescu; Anabel Medina Garrigues vs Flavia Pennetta; (Start at 7 pm) Julia Goerges vs Svetlana Kuznetsova; Jelena Jankovic vs Petra Cetkovska.

Court No.1 (Start at 12 noon) Fatma Al Nabhani vs Shahar Peer; Arantxa Rus vs Simona Halep; (3 pm) Su-Wei Hsieh/Shuai Peng vs Daniela Hantuchova/Agnieszka Radwanska.

Court No.3 (Start at 1.30 pm) Mona Barthel vs Petra Martic; Virginie Razzano vs Aleksandra Wozniak.

Court No.7 (Start at 1 pm) Iveta Benesova vs Casey Dellacqua.

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