Former Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki and former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard were picked to grace the courts of the Styslinger/Altec Tennis Complex. The matchup was announced last December.
The 29-year-old Bouchard is a one-time WTA titlist and is a part-time tennis player these days. She hadn't played a competitive tennis match since September 2023 at the Guadalajara Open.
Bouchard announced her decision to switch to pickleball, joining a growing list of retired tennis players who are becoming multisport athletes. The decision came as a bit of a shock despite the Canadian's declining form on a tennis court.
While she has not formally retired from tennis, Bouchard's long-term future on the WTA Tour remains unclear. Her professional pickleball debut was certainly one to forget, as she lost three matches in a single day at the Hyundai Masters last month.
She lost handily in singles; the other two defeats came in doubles. Later, she attributed her pickleball experience to being "nerve-wracking" and vowed to get into the practice courts to improve. Bouchard promised to play a "bunch" of events on the pickleball tour.
With Bouchard stepping away from the tennis circuit, Wozniacki has done the complete opposite. The Dane famously shocked the tennis world when she announced her imminent return to tennis in the middle of last season, three and half years after her official retirement.
The 33-year-old played in three different tournaments during her comeback year and reached the fourth round of the US Open against all the odds. Thereafter, Wozniacki took time away from the tour and confirmed that she would return in 2024.
She kept up her word, making her return this year, playing at the ASB Classic and the Australian Open, which incidentally was her final tournament before her retirement in 2020. But it was not the fairytale she had hoped for, losing early in both tournaments.
But there was something to be excited about for Wozniacki, who beat Bouchard in Dallas on Saturday night. The match was not televised but served as the official curtain raiser for the ATP 250 tournament - the Dallas Open - played at the Southern Methodist University tennis complex.
Just like last year when Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens battled on opening weekend, this time, Wozniacki and Bouchard shared the court. The former World No. 1 won 6-4, 6-2.