In 2007, a new king claimed the crown in Montreal: Novak Djokovic of Serbia became the seventh player to take home the Rogers Cup title in their first appearance at the event. The last professional player to achieve the feat was Marat Safin of Russia, back in 2000.
Then at only 20 years of age, Djokovic had gotten his season underway as world no. 16, racking up solid performances that eventually propelled him to world no. 3. He descended upon Montreal with three titles in hand—Adelaide, Miami and Estoril—and a finals appearance at Indian Wells. At the Slams, his only defeats were at the hands of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The triad of rivals was quickly taking shape.
Djokovic started the week off in Montreal with solid wins and didn’t drop a single set on his way to the final. With a first-round bye, he earned back-to-back victories over Nicolas Kiefer, David Nalbandian, Andy Roddick (5) and Rafael Nadal (2).
In the final, “Nole” had to dig a little deeper and pull out all the stops to overcome Roger Federer 7-6(2), 2-6, 7-6(2).
Believe it or not, the win in Montreal was the Djoker’s first triumph over the Swiss maestro. He’s since achieved a record of 23-45 against his opponent. The 2007 showdown proved to be the starting point for one of the greatest rivalries in the history of tennis. Will we witness the next chapter this summer in Montreal?