It has been a special comeback to Grand Slam tennis for former top-20 WTA Tour star Elena Vesnina.
The 34-year-old hadn’t played at a major since the 2018 French Open after giving birth to her first child later that year.
But after eventually being persuaded to return from maternity leave earlier this year in Doha, following countless emails from the WTA Tour, the former No. 1 doubles player nearly made the perfect return at Grand Slam level.
Rather than ease back into a major, Vesnina chose to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles at Roland Garros, and it was in the latter where she almost went all the way with Aslan Karatsev.
The Russian duo, who have known each other for more than a decade, peeled off four consecutive wins to advance to Thursday’s mixed doubles final.
And they almost won the whole thing.
But it wasn’t to be, with Vesnina and Karatsev falling to Brit Joe Salisbury and American Desiree Krawczyk 2-6, 6-4 (10-5) in Thursday’s mixed doubles final.
Vesnina also reached the third round of the singles and looks to have breathed new life into her career after returning from childbirth.
Now the pair have their eyes set on playing mixed doubles at the Tokyo Olympics.
Listen to The First Serve, Mondays 8pm AEDT 1116AM SEN Melbourne, 1170AM SEN Sydney & 1629AM SEN SA or listen live and catch up on the SEN App.
Brought to you by 1st Serve Tennis Sunscreen, available atwww.sunblessedsunscreens.com.auOrder now using the discount code SEN.