Wozniacki rallies to reach Toronto second round

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MONTREAL (AFP) – Former champion Caroline Wozniacki battled into the second round of the elite WTA tournament in Toronto on Monday with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Yulia Putintseva.

Wozniacki, seeded 15th, shook off an early break of serve, rallying from 2-4 down in the opening set to book her second-round berth in 90 minutes.

“In the beginning, I had a really tough time returning her serves for some reason so I stepped back a little bit,” Wozniacki said. “She can make you move around and get out of place and I found a way to recover and win it.”

The Dane, who lifted the WTA s Canadian Premier-level title in 2010 when the tournament was in Montreal, hasn t always thrived in the years in which Toronto hosted, although she did make it to the final in 2017.

“I m just happy to be here and win another match here and get a good start,” Wozniacki said. “We ll see how it goes.

The top eight seeds in the key US Open tuneup receive first round byes — a group led by world number one Ash Barty of Australia and No. 2 Naomi Osaka of Japan.

Wimbledon champion Simona Halep and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams — beaten by the Romanian in the All England Club final — also have the first round off.

But wild card Maria Sharapova lent some star power to the opening day with a scheduled night match against 16th-seeded Estonian Anett Kontaveit.

Ranked 82nd in the world after another season marred by injury, Sharapova is contesting her first event since retiring with a left forearm injury in the first round at Wimbledon, when she was trailing Pauline Parmentier 0-5 in the third set.

She had missed more than four months in the wake of right shoulder surgery when she returned for the grass court season this year.

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