Aleksandra Wozniak had a great 2009 tennis season where she beat four top-15 tennis players and a victory over a former world No. 1.
Because of all her achievments in 2009 she was named The Canadian Press female athlete of the year for 2009.
For this award, Wozniak beat out hurdler Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, speedskater Christine Nesbitt and hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser .
Wozniak also came closer to cracked the world’s top-20 rankings.
“I was knocking the door at No. 21,” Wozniak said of her highest career ranking.
But she still thinks her achievements weren’t good enough and she gain a hunger to accomplish more.
“One day, I really want a Grand Slam – that’s going to be a dream come true,” she said.
Her start in 2009 was not good because Wozniak suffered a shoulder injury that forced her to miss a month of competition in February and feared that her season could be over.
“I was lucky, I did a lot of rehab and it all healed pretty quickly,” she said.
“It took me out of competition for a couple of weeks, but when I came back I was ready mentally and physically.”
When she got back on the tennis tour she reached the final at Ponte Vedra Beach in April where she lost to Caroline Wozniacki. Wozniak’s season hit a lull and she failed to reach the third round in any of the next five tournaments.
But she turned things around in a big way the following month on the clay courts of Roland Garros. Aleksandra made it to the fourth round of the French Open and became the first Canadian in 17 years to reach that far in Paris.
Then she defeated French Open champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-0, 6-3 in Eastbourne, England. That was the moment when she reached a career high of No. 21 in the world.
“They take me more seriously and they are more intimidated by me,” Wozniak said.
At the U.S. Open she beat Amelie Mauresmo, a former Grand Slam champion and world number 1, 6-4, 6-0. And reached the third round in NY.
“Playing on Arthur Ashe (Stadium) . . . it was something really special,” Wozniak said of the victory.
The young Canadian is currently ranked No. 34 but even she didn’t win any titles in 2009 continued her ascent toward elite status in the tennis world.
Wozniak started playing tennis at three years old under the guidance of her father and coach, Antoni.
Wozniak said her father, like the rest of her family, has been a great support in her life.
“My whole family, they keep supporting me – even when things are not going well, they’re always there,” Wozniak said.
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