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Home   News   Previewing the ladies final: 4 things to know

Previewing the ladies final: 4 things to know

Aug 12, 2017
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

The time has come to crown a new champion at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank. Out of the 56 women that entered the tournament, including 12 qualifiers, three wildcards and one lucky loser, two women have made it to the championship round.

World no. 5 Elina Svitolina (UKR) and world no. 6 Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) will face off on Sunday, August 13 for the Rogers Cup ladies title. It would be Wozniacki’s second victory in Canada, or a first title on Canadian soil for Svitolina.

To prepare for this thrilling final, we break down a few key statistics and points to reflect on and look out for during the final.

Head-to-Head

The pair have faced off twice in the past and it was Elina Svitolina claiming both of those wins. Both matches came on hard courts, including the final in Dubai earlier this season. Svitolina dominated that match and took the title with a 6-4, 6-2 win. Wozniacki won the first set the two played back in Miami in 2016 but has lost their last four sets.

On the season Svitolina holds a 43-9 record while Wozniacki is just ahead with a 46-15 record. Both women are among the most active players on tour and lead the WTA in matches played and matches won – Wozniacki is no. 1 on tour, Svitolina no. 9.

Road to the final

By means of their rankings, both women received first round bye’s at Rogers Cup.

Wozniacki began her quest for a second Rogers Cup title against Russian qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova. The Russian offered little problems for the Dane who advanced to the third round with a 6-3, 6-0 scoreline. It was a huge victory for Wozniacki as it marked her first main draw victory in Toronto, a tournament she first played 10 years ago (2007).

From there, Wozniacki faced good friend Agnieszka Radwanska in the third round. Radwanska, the no. 10 seed, is known for her incredible flexibility and ability to manoeuver around the court with relative ease. However, she has been struggling this season and Wozniacki showcased those struggles on court as she dominated for a 6-3, 6-1 win.

World no. 1 Karolina Pliskova was the next one in Wozniacki’s line of fire. Pliskova was playing her first tournament as the world no. 1 at Rogers Cup and achieved a career-best showing at the tournament by making the quarterfinals in Toronto. Her run would end there, however, as Wozniacki was a comeback warrior in their match-up. Wozniacki, who fell behind 1-5 in the opening set, came back to win one of the best matches this season 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-4 in just under three hours to make her first semifinal in Toronto. That second set was the lone set she dropped all week.

In the semifinals Wozniacki came up against a resurgent Sloane Stephens who is in the draw by means of a protected ranking. Stephens is playing in only her third tournament of the season having just returned from rehabbing a foot injury. While Stephens’ run to the semifinals was remarkable in its own right, it was not able to compete with Wozniacki’s brilliant form. The Dane dismissed the American 6-2, 6-3.

Svitolina’s run through the draw was just as impressive as her opponent’s.

The Ukrainian began with a straight sets win over fellow rising star Daria Kasatkina 7-6(4), 6-4. From there, things got a bit tougher for Svitolina as Venus Williams, Garbiñe Muguruza and Simona Halep stood in her way.

Williams, a seven-times Grand Slam champion, earned her first ever main draw victory in Toronto at the beginning of the week just like Wozniacki. The world no. 9 would enjoy a run to the third round before encountering Svitolina, who would dismiss the veteran American handedly 6-2, 6-1.

Muguruza, who came to Toronto just off of winning her second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon and a semifinal run in Stanford, was next up for Svitolina. The world no. 4 was able to capture the first set off Svitolina on Friday night but rain suspended their match and cancelled play for the day. With the opportunity to regroup, Svitolina arrived fresh to Aviva Centre the following day and came back to win the match 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

A double-header was a big challenge for Svitolina on Saturday as she had to regroup once again for a match. This time, obviously, under different circumstances.

Due to the rain delay, the bottom half of the women’s draw was impacted and players needed to compete in the quarterfinal and semifinal matches on the same day. For Svitolina it was no problem (despite the fact that she forgot to bring a change of clothes to the site for after her match!). Svitolina and Halep, respective winners in both of their quarterfinals, met on Saturday evening for the final semifinal showdown. What was set up to be an epic battle was a one-sided dominant affair by the Ukrainian as she trashed the defending champion 6-1, 6-1 in 56 minutes.

Caroline seeking new territory

Since Rogers Cup (or Canadian Open, for old time’s sake) began alternating cities in 1981 there have been five ladies champions crowned in both Toronto and Montreal – Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, and Martina Hingis. Hingis was the last to win the title in both cities, and she did so back-to-back (1999-2000).

If Caroline Wozniacki were to win Rogers Cup on Sunday, she would become the sixth woman to complete the feat. It would be seven years after her maiden title was won in Montreal, as well.

Wozniacki would also become the first player since Serena Williams (2001, 2011, 2013) to win multiple titles at Rogers Cup.

Elina aims to remain undefeated in finals this season

To say 22-year-old Elina Svitolina has had a good season would be an understatement.

The Ukrainian holds eight career titles in her young career already, four of those titles coming this season! Svitolina is an outstanding 4/4 in finals this year and holds a 8-2 record in career finals.

This year Svitolina has captured the title in Dubai, Taipei City, Istanbul and Rome. Dubai and Rome, also Premier 5 level tournaments on the WTA Tour, should indicate that the rising tennis star is used to this scenario and will not arrive on court this Sunday with unknown nerves.

Players that Svitolina has defeated in finals this season: Shuai Peng, Caroline Wozniacki, Elise Mertens and Simona Halep. Svitolina holds a 7-1 record against Top 5 opponents this year, as well.

 

Perhaps the key to success for Wozniacki and Svitolina was participating in Rogers Cup’s edition of Heads Up earlier in the week? (We can hope, right?). Check out the video below to see how the two of them, as well as more WTA stars, competed in the game.

Click here to read about Caroline Wozniacki’s semifinal win over Sloane Stephens.

Click here to read about Elina Svitolina’s semifinal win over Simona Halep.

The ladies final will be played on Sunday, August 13 at 1:30 p.m. EST at Aviva Centre.