Caroline Wozniacki's brutal takedown of Aussie in return to tennis after three years

The former Australian Open champion has made a successful comeback after nearly four years away from the sport.

Caroline Wozniacki and Kim Birrell.
Caroline Wozniacki beat Kim Birrell in her first match in nearly four years. Image: Getty

Caroline Wozniacki has stunned the tennis world after an extraordinary return against Kim Birrell at the Canadian Open after almost four years away from the sport. Playing in her first WTA match in three years and eight months, Wozniacki cruised past Australian qualifier Birrell 6-2 6-2 in Montreal.

The 33-year-old, who announced in June that she was coming out of retirement, took just 97 minutes in a brutal display and looked like she'd never left. "It just feels great to be back out there competing," Wozniacki said in her on-court post-match interview on Tuesday.

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"I thought I played well in the first set, you know just finding my rhythm, and then I lost the rhythm a little bit in the second so it was a grind. But I'm just happy that I somehow managed to win that one."

The former Australian Open champion dropped the opening game on her serve, but then built up a 3-1 lead and wrapped up the first set in 42 minutes. Birrell, the World No.115, stepped up the pressure in the second set but served some untimely double faults as Wozniacki went ahead 4-2. From there, the Danish star never looked back.

Wozniacki retired after a third-round loss at the Australian Open in 2020, citing her desire to start a family with husband David Lee. She gave birth to two children and became a television commentator, with her days as a player seemingly complete.

But she announced in June that she was making a comeback and received wildcard entries into the Canadian Open and next week's Cincinnati Masters. She is building towards the US Open, where she finished runner-up in 2009 and 2014.

Kim Birrell, pictured here in action against Caroline Wozniacki at the Canadian Open.
Kim Birrell was no match for Caroline Wozniacki at the Canadian Open. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

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Before her sudden retirement, Wozniacki had won 30 titles and 635 career matches, and spent 71 weeks as World No.1. Now she has her first victory as a mother.

"That's pretty crazy," she said. "I was just looking at the clock actually. My kids are napping right now which is awesome. So I'm going to catch them after I do a little bit of treatment and food and stuff.

"That's the good part of playing early. I still have the afternoon with them."

Caroline Wozniacki.
Caroline Wozniacki celebrates after beating Kim Birrell at the Canadian Open. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

She added: "What an amazing place to come back and play my first match. I love playing here in Montreal."

Also advancing to the second round in Montreal on Tuesday were Danielle Collins, who won 6-2 6-2 against Ukraine's Elina Svitolina. Seeded players Daria Kasatkina and Liudmila Samsonova also advanced.

with agencies

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