Former world No. 4 Bianca Andreescu got emotional during her first match of the season as she was happy to be back to playing and enjoying herself on the court again.
Andreescu, now ranked at No. 121 in the world, kicked off her 2022 season this week in Stuttgart after being awarded a wildcard into the tournament.
On Tuesday, Andreescu defeated home favorite Jule Niemeier 7-6 (5) 6-3 in the Stuttgart first round.
"I felt that it took me a while to get my rhythm, but she presented very good tennis," Andreescu told WTA Insider after the match.
"I'm just super happy with how I dealt with everything; especially towards the end of the match, I felt like I had a clear mindset, but it was definitely very emotional, so to get out of that state was hard, but I'm glad that I managed.
"I got a little teary-eyed at one changeover, because I was like, 'Oh my god, I'm back playing again and I'm feeling good.'"
Andreescu looking forward to playing Aryna Sabalenka
Andreescu plays next third-seeded Sabalenka, who had a first round bye at the tournament.
Andreescu and Sabalenka are set to meet for the first time on the WTA Tour.
The two met once at a lower-tier event as Sabalenka recovered from a set down to beat Andreescu in Manchester five years ago.
"I'm happy to play her finally on the tour at this level," Andreescu said. "She's a hard hitter, she loves her serve, she loves her forehand and she's a great fighter. I'm going to have to bring my 'A' game, because I know she'll bring hers."
Sabalenka played her last tournament of the 2021 season in October.
In December, Andreescu announced an indefinite break from tennis.
This week, Andreescu revealed she had contemplated a retirement during her dark period.
Andreescu is now in good spiits and hoping to make some strong results.
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