Wozniak fails to get it done

DENIS POISSANT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

WIMBLEDON, England -- The disappointment could easily be seen on Aleksandra Wozniak's face as she walked off the court following an intense two-hour, 15-minute match.

The scoreboard on Court 3 advertised the bad news: A 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 loss to Italian Francesca Schiavone.

Following her run to the semi-finals at Eastbourne last week and a lengthy list of tournament appearances in recent months, Wozniak simply didn't have enough gas left in the tank -- and Schiavone, a former top-20 player, exploited that.

"It's a disappointing loss," Wozniak said. "This is my ninth straight week (of competition). I'm tired."

The Blainville, Que., native was in control of the first set, playing aggressively and hitting perfect approach shots that allowed her to set up shop at the net and play textbook old-school serve-and- volley tennis, early on.

But Schiavone managed to reach many shots that appeared out of reach. Following her first-set lost to the Canadian, she was furious, and came back strong, setting the tone in the second set.

NO TIME

In the men's draw, fellow Canadian Frank Dancevic also was ousted in the first round after reaching the final at Eastbourne, falling to Belgium's Steve Darcis 4-6, 7-6, 6-3.

The Niagara Falls native said he didn't have enough time between the two tournaments to get used to the courts at Wimbledon.

"I played Saturday and two days later I find myself in the first round at Wimbledon," Dancevic said. "I was surprised to see that the grass was a lot slower than I had anticipated."

INTENSE

Wozniak couldn't keep up her pace in the second set, and, at one point, Schiavone won nine consecutive points and was up 5-4 with Wozniak serving.

Wozniak didn't score a single point in that game and finished the set with a double fault.

Once again, Schiavone composed herself and Wozniak failed to break her serve on two chances and suddenly it was a 2-1 Wozniak lead. In the next game, Wozniak was up 40-0 before Schiavone came from behind to tie the set at two.

"I tried to battle for every point but she was better today," Wozniak said.

Match point and, with the underdog-loving Wimbledon fans cheering for Schiavone and the tension palpable, Wozniak served for the last time. Schiavone returned a winner.

And just like that, Wozniak's dream came to an end. Early.


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