Canadian Open star explains umpire handshake snub after two-year break

Jennifer Brady took to Twitter to apologise for snubbing the umpire as she made a winning return to the Canadian Open. The former world No 13 has been sidelined with a knee injury for two years and only returned to the WTA Tour last week. And her time away from the tour made her forget to shake hands with the official after she stunned world No 20 Jelena Ostapenko.

Brady enjoyed a full-circle moment in Montreal on Monday as she defeated Ostapenko 7-6(7) 0-6 7-6(8) in her opening match. It came two years after she was forced to retire to the Latvian in their Cincinnati match back in 2021, and she didn’t play again until just a few weeks ago after battling a knee issue.

The 28-year-old returned to action at the Granby Challenger three weeks ago and only played in her first WTA event seven days ago in Washington, with her victory over Ostapenko marking her fifth match in two years. But among all the excitement, Brady forgot to shake hands with the chair umpire.

The former Australian Open finalist reposted a video of her victory on Twitter with a rollercoaster emoji before realising she snubbed the official. “Ok this is really embarrassing,” she added in a follow-up tweet.

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“I have learned that I forgot to shake the umpires hand (forgive me, I’m still shaking off some rust).” But compatriot Madison Keys defended the former world No 13, noting that she hadn’t played a match since the Covid pandemic when players didn’t shake hands with the officials.

“It’s ok last time we played was Covid so you’re just a little behind the times,” the world No 3 responded with a laughing emoji. It was a turbulent match for Brady, who lost eight games in a row at one point and saved two match points en route to the victory.

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Speaking after the third victory of her comeback, she said: “I have no idea how I won that match. On the court I don’t feel like I’m moving as good as I want to, I’m not hitting the ball as deep or heavy as I want to. I’m not playing good tennis, I’m just playing tennis. That’s how I feel on court.”

And Brady will need to find her good tennis ahead of her next round as she faces a tough test in third seed Elena Rybakina. The match marks Rybakina’s first since her loss to Ons Jabeur in the quarter-final of Wimbledon. It was a rematch of the 2022 final – won by the Kazakh – but put an end to her title defence.

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