World No. 1 Iga Swiatek acknowledged Ajla Tomljanovic's great form over this past summer and wished the Australian a quick recovery from an unfortunate left knee injury. On Wednesday, Swiatek played her first match since winning the US Open.
Swiatek, who had a first-round bye in Ostrava, was up by a 7-5 2-2 score when Tomljanovic was forced to retire their match due to a left knee injury. "We played in Toronto and I saw in the US Open how well Ajla played -- it seems she's really on a roll and she's playing better and better.
It was a great match and it's unfortunate that something happened -- I hope she's going to recover quickly. I've had a three-week break from playing matches, and after such an intense time it seems like a lot. I felt like I need to get back to the rhythm, and it wasn't easy.
I had a bye, and Ajla already played a few matches. So I felt like I need to catch up. But I'm pretty happy this match was so intense, because I feel like I had to go to another level and it's going to prepare me for the next matches," Swiatek said after the match, per the WTA website.
Swiatek was tested before Tomljanovic retired the match
Swiatek got off to a quick start, breaking Tomljanovic early for a 3-0 lead. Down by an early break, Tomljanovic didn't panic and broke back Swiatek in the seventh game.
After winning three consecutive games to tie the first set to four games apiece, Tomljanovic missed out on two break points for a 5-4 lead. Tomljanovic paid the price for not realizing those break points as Swiatek broke Tomljanovic in the 12th game, when the Australian was serving to stay in the first set.
After losing the first set, Tomljanovic broke Swiatek in the first game of the second set. Then, Tomljanovic started holding onto her knee and retired the match after serving out the fourth game to tie the second set to two games apiece. Swiatek plays next the winner of the match between Karolina Muchova and Caty McNally.