Tennis

Wozniak's Blog: Working well with a new coach, new approach

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Aleksandra Wozniak, special to RDS and TSN
5/16/2014 4:07:58 PM
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Blainville, Quebec's Aleksandra Wozniak reflects on working with her new coach and her preparation for Roland Garros in her personal blog on RDS.ca and TSN.ca.

It's been a few months since I officially began working with my coach Nathalie Tauziat.

During my long absence from competition (due to my shoulder injury), it was my father - a former coach - who was by my side. Because I wasn't fully recovered and I hadn't had the opportunity to test my shoulder in game situations, my comeback in New Haven last August didn't appear wise.

Tennis Canada then asked me to do a one-week trial in Florida with Nathalie shortly after the end of her stint with Eugenie Bouchard last October.

We had our first experience working together two month later when Nathalie came to Boca Raton for the Fed Cup camp at Chris Evert's Tennis Academy. And I felt good chemistry from the start - she made a great first impression.

Under these new circumstances, I decided to continue my comeback, starting with the Shenzhen tournament and Melbourne qualifications. Then off to tournaments in Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami.

We get to know more during these tournaments while continuing my progress, which is still a big challenge after a long absence. It's an important adaptation for both the player and the coach.

And I'm glad I started this association.

It's gone well and it's helped me a lot - technically and strategically. As a former player - a World No. 3 and a finalist at Wimbledon in addition - she brings a lot of experience from the field. She brings me so much at all levels, including the right attitude to adapt, and we communicate really well.

It was my father who taught me to play tennis. He taught me to recognize the feeling on the court and taught me the technique. Nathalie also works great on the same aspects, so I already felt comfortable with it.

Even before the player-coach relationship, she's very friendly and open to working with anyone. She overcame many obstacles in her life and we share the same sense of perseverance.

It takes character to achieve this level of competitiveness on the circuit. You have to fight every week and every game and keep a good attitude to remain at your best. Players like Maria Sharapova are successful because they have the attitude, character and they fight their challenges.

Now we're preparing for qualifying at Roland Garros. I'm so happy to participate - I couldn't take part in my favorite Grand Slam last year because I was still undergoing rehabilitation. And I love the clay - my favorite playing surface!

But I still have much work to do - like learning to slide at the right time, showing more patience and knowing when to play each type of ball.

From a bigger viewpoint, I'm still trying to find my game from before. I've lost my feeling - my sense of anticipation and reaction - but now my body's used to more tennis. We're working on the length of my ball, strategiesand my change of pace to have a more complete arsenal.

I've always been a complete player - that's to say I don't play only as flat as I can hit the ball early and make changes of pace. It's for these reasons that I was able to stay in the Top 50 in the past (as high as 21st in the world). By changing my pace and using an offensive style, I think I can beat highly-ranked players. It's important to have the as much strength as possible in this game.

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http://www.aleksandrawozniak.com/
Twitter @alekswoz

Aleksandra Wozniak (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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