WTA

Wozniacki return 'an amazing story' for Bartoli ahead of WTA comeback

By Sports Desk July 23, 2023

Caroline Wozniacki's choice to return to tennis will be "an amazing story", says Marion Bartoli, after the former world number one reversed her retirement.

The Danish player previously called time on her career in 2020, and has only played sporadically since in invitational matches.

But the former Australian Open winner confirmed her intention to return to professional tennis in June, with wildcard spots in Montreal and Cincinnati ahead of the US Open.

Bartoli, who quit initially in 2013 before an unsuccessful comeback attempt of her own led to a definitive retirement in 2018, believes Wozniacki can still deliver at the top of the women's game.

"I actually saw her at Wimbledon, and she was playing an invitational with Cara Black in the doubles," 2013 Wimbledon winner Bartoli told Stats Perform.

"She was wearing tape on her calf and having small sort of tears here and there just because her body is getting back into the routines of playing every day.

"But I think she feels like it's time for her to come back as a family, with her husband, travelling with her kids and just being a family and going on tour and live it.

"Being a family and travelling and showing your kids that your mum can be a mum on one day and can be a tennis player on the other... if that is her inspiration [for coming back], by any means, I support that 100 per cent.

"I think it will be an amazing story once again. Caroline has always been an incredible competitor. I think if she can find that level, we're going to have some amazing fights at the top of women's tennis

"If she can play back at her best, the level to go extremely deep and maybe to have another grand slam."

Bartoli also reflected on a disappointing Wimbledon campaign for Iga Swiatek, as the latter vies with Aryna Sabalenka atop the WTA rankings.

"The number one in the race [to beat Swiatek] is Sabalenka," she added. "Since the beginning of the year, she's actually the player who has won the most matches.

"But she has been slightly more consistent [than Swiatek]. The US Open really will tell who will be at the top of the women's game in terms of ranking.

"Right now it's quite even, but Aryna has a little bit of an upper hand. So we're going to see. But Iga Swiatek on clay for sure is the best player in the world."

Related items

  • Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Casper Ruud to win Monte-Carlo title for third time Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Casper Ruud to win Monte-Carlo title for third time

    Stefanos Tsitsipas brushed aside Casper Ruud to claim his third Monte-Carlo Masters title in four years.

    The Greek star took just an hour and 37 minutes to see off his Norwegian opponent 6-1 6-4 on Court Rainier III.

    Ruud dispatched world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals but he could not repeat the feat as Tsitsipas once again produced his best tennis in the principality.

    The title winner, who has had to overcome a back problem, told the ATP Tour’s official website: “It has been very difficult, so to be back on the podiums, winning tournaments just feels amazing.

    “I can’t thank my family enough and friends – and if there is God out there – for making this moment possible. I am extremely grateful for every person behind this journey.

    “The third time is even more special than the first or second time. This is an unbelievable win for me. Capturing that win today was nerve-wracking. I really wanted this trinity. I am extremely happy today.”

    The 25-year-old 12th seed came out firing against the world number 10, breaking the struggling Ruud in the third game and clinching the first set at the second time of asking.

    He had to save a break point in the first game of the second set and then three in the seventh as the improving Norwegian pushed for a way back into the match.

    However, Tsitsipas then broke to edge himself towards the finishing line and complete a good afternoon’s work.

    He said: “I am glad I presented on court and showed some ruthless tennis. From the beginning to the end my play was cohesive and I was able to blend in a lot of different shots.”

    Meanwhile, Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz has withdrawn from the Barcelona Open due to injury.

    The world number three pulled out of the Monte-Carlo Masters with a right forearm problem and has not recovered in time to defend his title in his home country.

    A statement from the tournament read: “Carlos Alcaraz will not be able to defend the title he won the last two seasons.

    “The player from Murcia has suffered from the injury sustained in Monte Carlo, and did not have a good feeling in his training on Sunday and, despite having tried until the last moment, he will not be in the Barcelona Open.

    “Wishing you a speedy recovery, we hope to see you next year.”

    Fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal is scheduled to make his comeback from injury at the tournament.

    The 37-year-old has not played on the main tour since January due to a hip injury.

  • Germany boss Nagelsmann will not be lured back to Bayern, says Ramelow Germany boss Nagelsmann will not be lured back to Bayern, says Ramelow

    Bayern Munich may always have an "attraction" to coaches but Carsten Ramelow does not expect Germany boss Julian Nagelsmann to return to the Bundesliga giants.

    Nagelsmann was dismissed from his role as Bayern coach back in March 2023, as his former side were trying to make ground on Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga title race.

    Thomas Tuchel was swiftly appointed as his replacement, leading the club to an 11th straight top-flight title last term, but the former Chelsea boss has failed to live up to expectations this season, and will leave at the end of the campaign.

    Xabi Alonso rebuffed Bayern's interest to stay at Bayer Leverkusen, and it remains to be seen who the Bundesliga giants will go for as Tuchel's replacement.

    Nagelsmann is preparing to lead Germany at Euro 2024, which they will host from June 14, and former international Ramelow cannot see him being enticed back to his old club.

    "Quite honestly, it's hard for me to imagine that," Ramelow told Stats Perform when asked about Nagelsmann reuniting with Bayern. 

    "I would be surprised. First, he was sacked at Bayern, then he got the chance to coach Germany and now he should return. 

    "I think he will stay as Germany head coach. I also think that Bayern has different ideas, so let's be surprised by what they do over the next months."

    Nagelsmann oversaw back-to-back friendly victories over France and Netherlands as Germany impressed in the March internationals.

    Meanwhile, Tuchel's Bayern are almost out of the running for the Bundesliga title but will hope to reach the Champions League semi-final when Arsenal return to Germany for their finely poised last-eight tie.

    Ramelow acknowledged that Bayern remain an attractive proposition for any coach, however.

    "I mean everything is possible, sure," he added. "But I think that Nagelsmann has his own ideas and you don't take over as a national team's head coach only for a few months.

    "Even though Bayern always has its attraction. But he coached them already and they had their reasons to sack him, so, I would be surprised."

    Germany start their Euro 2024 campaign against Scotland at Allianz Arena on June 14, after friendlies against Ukraine and Greece to warm up for the tournament.

  • Novak Djokovic suffers first defeat to Casper Ruud at Monte-Carlo Masters Novak Djokovic suffers first defeat to Casper Ruud at Monte-Carlo Masters

    World number one Novak Djokovic suffered a first defeat to Casper Ruud as he was beaten in the semi-finals of the Monte-Carlo Masters.

    Norwegian Ruud delivered the biggest win of his career with a 6-4 1-6 6-4 victory to reach his second ATP Masters 1000 final.

    Ruud had never won a set off Djokovic in their past five meetings, but found his form against the tournament’s top seed to battle through to the final, where he will face Stefanos Tsitsipas.

    In a rematch of last year’s French Open final between the pair, Djokovic – who had appeared to struggle physically during his quarter-final win over Alex De Minaur – failed to find his usual high levels.

    Ruud, though, rose to the occasion on Court Rainier III to hold off a fightback from the Serbian in the final set, with Djokovic recovering from 4-1 down to level.

    The 25-year-old rallied to claim a third match point after Djokovic double faulted, completing a hard-fought victory in two hours and 17 minutes.

    Djokovic, meanwhile, sees his hunt for a first tournament win of 2024 continue.

    “I am super happy. This is a day I will remember for a long time,” Ruud told the ATP Tour website.

    “Beating a world number one is something I have never done and beating Novak is something I have never done.

    “I am very, very happy. I am a little bit in a state of shock right now.”

    Earlier, Tsitsipas had battled past second seed Jannik Sinner 6-4 3-6 6-4 and now has his eyes set on a third title in the Principality.

    “It was tennis at its highest level that I have been able to play,” said the Greek, who lifted back-to-back Monte-Carlo Masters titles in 2021 and 2022.

    “Jannik was an extremely-difficult opponent and it can be seen throughout the year so far.

    “He has been very consistent and I could see that throughout today with his game.

    “He is one of the toughest opponents I have faced so far and to find ways when there weren’t that many, I am proud of that.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.