Breakthrough motivation

Aleksandra Wozniak is taking a cue from Frank Dancevic and hopes to begin her ascent up the ratings...

Aleksandra Wozniak is taking a cue from Frank Dancevic and hopes to begin her ascent up the ratings ladder. (Sun File/Brendon Dlouhy)

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:59 AM ET

Aleksandra Wozniak knows only of the legend of Carling Bassett-Seguso's days representing Canada with flair in the world of professional tennis.

So when it comes to motivation for this week's Rogers Cup, the Quebec native is looking as much to her modern-day male counterpart, Frank Dancevic.

"Frank did so well last week, it's a big inspiration for all the Canadians," Wozniak said yesterday after bowing out of doubles play with partner Val Tetrault and looking ahead to her single's opener today at the Rexall Centre.

"It shows that Canadians can compete against other countries and the top players. A lot of people don't believe that but he really showed that we can do it."

Niagara Falls native Dancevic, who advanced to the quarter-finals at the men's Rogers Cup showcase in Montreal last week, was rewarded yesterday by moving up 24 points to a career-best 67th in the world rankings.

At 103rd in the women's version, Wozniak is the top-ranked player among the four Canadians entered in the main draw where she hopes to begin her ascent up the ratings ladder.

In afternoon matches, Wozniak meets Russian Anastasia Rodionova and andother Quebecer, Stephanie Dubois, faces Ai Suigyama of Japan.

In a prime-time meeting on the stadium court, an all-Canadian match between veteran Marie-Eve Pelletier and qualifier Ekaterina Shulaeva of Oakville will be featured.

Bassett-Seguso, who was known as Darling Carling by Canadian fans in her heyday, offered some advice for the newer generation trying to make some noise.

"Go out there and just say, "I'm Canadian, I've got a shot and I've got all these fans behind me,'" said Bassett-Seguso, who took part in a legends exhibition last night with John McEnroe, Jim Courier and Anna Kournikova.

"Just go out there and play with some confidence. When you've got nothing to lose, feed on that positivity from the crowd. You know they are behind you all the way."

Life won't get easier for the winner of the Pelletier-Shulaeva match, given the winner will face the sizzling second seed Jelena Jankovic in the next round.

"It's too bad that two Canadians have to play each other," said Pelletier the 25-year-old who will be making her 10th Rogers Cup appearances.

"At the same time for sure one will go through and play Jelena. That would be a great opportunity."

SWIRLING WINDS

Meanwhile, as action begin yesterday players battled swirling winds.

None more than the highest seed in action, No. 9 Dinara Safina of Russia, who narrowly escaped becoming the tourney's first significant upset.

Fans who stuck around were rewarded with a treat. Safina was trailing Camilla Pin of France 4-1 in the third set before rallying for a 6-7, 6-3, 7-5 win.

Earlier, No. 10 seed Patty Schnyder of Switzerland, breezed by Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain, 6-3, 6-2.

While most of the top eight seeds don't get underway until tomorrow, No. 3 Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia meets Italian Roberta Vinca on the Stadium Court at 7:30 p.m.


Videos

Photos