Canadian tennis said goodbye to one of its phenom stars. Montreal native Aleksandra Wozniak retired from tennis after a career defined by great promise and persistent injury.
“Today, I love tennis just as much, but due to my injuries, my body is no longer able to perform at 100 percent. It is time for me to turn the page. I took the time to think carefully before making this decision. I am now ready to live new experiences,” Wozniak said.
As a junior, Wozniak demonstrated great success from a young age. From winning Canadian tournaments in Toronto, Hamilton, and Victoria respectively, the Quebecer reached a career-high No. 3 in the junior ITF rankings. It was evident that Tennis Canada had found their new young star in women’s tennis, trying to follow in similar footsteps as Carling Bassett.
On the court, Wozniak had very powerful groundstrokes, particularly utilizing her backhand to keep her opponents off balance. Her first serve was her weapon, earning her free points when she transitioned from junior to professional tennis.
2008 would be Wozniak’s most successful year of her career. She would earn her first and only WTA title at the Bank of West Classic in Stanford, defeating Marion Bartoli 7-5, 6-3. With Wozniak’s title, it would be the first time in 20 years a female tennis player from Quebec would win a WTA title. This got the young Canadian to her career high WTA ranking of 21st in the world in 2009.
However, Wozniak would not reach a higher level in her career. She became plagued by injuries that would impede her success on the WTA Tour. At 31 years old, the inevitable hurdles to get back to a top level were the main motivator to leave the game.
“The past few years have been challenging with all of the injuries, but I always continued to fight because I was still passionate about my sport,” Wozniak said.
With Wozniak leaving the game, her legacy will be forever remembered in Canadian tennis. She is a five time Tennis Canada Female Player of the Year and the winner of the 2009 Bobbie Rosenfeld Award for Canadian Female Athlete of the Year. She also holds the Canadian record for Fed Cup wins with 40.
Although the expectations of her career far exceeded the results, Wozniak’s smart play and overwhelming willingness to compete for her country will never be forgotten.
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