*** On Sunday January 6th, I was leaving the Cedar Springs club in Burlington when I suddenly saw a good looking girl with a great looking smash. I had to look more closely and then I realised it was Canadian great Aleks Wozniak, Canada’s top ranked female player. What a surprise as the day before I had read about her withdrawal from the Aussie Open. I have known Aleks forever so I barged in on the court and here is our conversation. ***
ONcourt: Wow Aleks you look great and in such great shape, why are you in Burlington rather than being in Melbourne?
Aleksandra Wozniak: I wish I was in Melbourne playing the Australian Open but unfortunately my shoulder is not at 100% after my injury that happened at the Challenge Bell back in september 2012. I started playing tennis not too long ago after receiving the green light from the doctor at the end of December to start hitting balls again. I’m hoping to be back on Tour competing in February. Today, Sunday, is my day off training so I’m just hitting for fun.
ONcourt: How is your family [father/coach, mother and sister, tennis star in her own right]?
AW: My family is doing very good, everyone is happy & healthy. They are my biggest supporters and my sister continues to wake up at whatever time she needs to, to follow my matches live around the world in different time zones. My father who has been my coach since I started playing tennis at 3 years old has been with me on the Tour in 2012. I started now working with former ATP Top 50 Player Martin Sinner from Germany. We are working on different aspects of my game right now and polishing what I already have to help me break into the Top 20 of WTA world ranking.
ONcourt: I see you have a new coach with you but his tennis game does not look up to your standard [she was hitting balls with Montreal Canadiens’ Louis Leblanc]?
AW: It was a fun tennis match today.
ONcourt: What is your plan for re-entry on the tour?
AW: I’m working very hard with my team on building back my shoulder strength since I couldn’t play tennis for three months because of my AC sprain injury that happened. I need to be at 100% before I get back on Tour with my health and tennis.
ONcourt: Injuries have played a big role in your career, how did you cope with these reversals?
AW: Injuries are athletes worst enemies. At this high competitive level, it’s a challenge to stay healthy and injury free throughout the years. We are training every day for many hours, competing 10 months out of 12 during the year, with the travelling it gets hard for sure. It has been tough at times but it only helps build stronger character and gives you more determination to come back out better and stronger mentally and physically. The support of my family, sponsors and Tennis Canada has been very important in my career and help me feel more encouraged through these tougher times. I am always trying to keep a good, strong attitude when things happen and be patient for the healing process. I love what I do and want to play tennis for many more years.
ONcourt: How do you see your future in the game?
AW: I’m excited about my tennis future on the WTA Tour and I want to achieve many more goals that I have set for myself. I’m a very dedicated, determined, passionate and hardworking person that wants to reach new heights.
ONcourt: Thank you Aleks and give my love to your family.
AW: Great seeing you Pierre :).