Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki won her first competitive tennis match in three-and-a-half years on Tuesday, defeating Australian Kimberly Birrell 6-2 6-2 at the Canadian Open.
The 33-year-old Wozniacki announced her retirement after the 2020 Australian Open but said in June that she was planning a comeback.
She made light work of her first match back on tour in 1,293 days, ousting qualifier Birrell in one hour and 37 minutes in Montreal to set up a second-round contest against Wimbledon champion Markéta Vondroušová.
“It feels great,” Wozniacki – who won the Canadian Open title in 2010 – said in her on-court interview. “It’s been my first match back in over three years and I was definitely a little rusty.
“But what an amazing place to come back and play my first match. I love playing here in Montreal. I have amazing memories here.”
Wozniacki won 30 singles titles, including the 2018 Australian Open, before announcing her retirement.
She has since had two children with her husband, former NBA player David Lee, and has stayed close to the sport by playing legends doubles events and working as an analyst for ESPN and Tennis Channel.
In a first-person piece for Vogue announcing her return to tennis, Wozniacki said that she was targeting this year’s US Open. The US Tennis Association (USTA) later announced that it would be giving the Dane a wild card into the main draw of the women’s singles competition at the tournament.