August 11, 2013
The 2013 Rogers Cup presented by National Bank had its fair share of memorable moments. Here are some of our favourites…
Sharon Fichman and Gabriela Dabrowski upset top-ranked doubles team
When the wild card doubles team of Sharon Fichman and Gabriela Dabrowski defeated the No. 8-seeded duo of Lucie Safarova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the first round, the Canadians were thrilled to be advancing into the second round of Rogers Cup for the first time as a team. One more victory then pit them opposite the No. 1-ranked pair of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. In front of a cheering home crowd on Grandstand Court, Fichman and Dabrowski pulled off an incredible feat by upsetting the three-time Slam champions in the quarter-finals, putting them only two wins away becoming the first Canadians to capture the Rogers Cup women’s doubles title since 1969. Even though the pair lost in the semifinals, their win over Errani and Vinci proved Fichman and Dabrowski can compete with the very best in the doubles game.
Carol Zhao’s first Rogers Cup main draw
She’s been training at Montreal’s National Training Centre since the age of 15, and is set to attend Stanford University on a tennis scholarship in the fall, but at Rogers Cup she made news by making her first career WTA main draw. The 18-year-old, who has been one of Canada’s top junior players over the past few years, notched her best career pro-level win when she upset world No. 75 Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania 6-4, 6-4 in the second round of qualifying to advance into the main draw of Rogers Cup.
Sorana Cirstea’s Cinderella story
Sorana Cirstea gained a lot of new fans, and a lot of ranking points, this week as she defeated two former world No. 1s in Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic, a former Slam champion and 2012 Rogers Cup winner Petra Kvitova, and another past Slam victor and last year’s Canadian runner-up Li Na en route the 2013 final. Even though she eventually fell to Serena Williams in the championship match, her upset wins and strong play helped put this young Romanian on the map. Plus, in her heartfelt runner-up speech, the 23-year-old said Toronto was her new favourite tournament!
Magdalena Rybarikova lends a hand to her opponent
In the midst of her third-round match, Marion Bartoli snapped a string on her racquet, while all of her other racquets were off with the stringer. At this time, her opponent Magdalena Rybarikova stepped in and offered Bartoli one of her own in a fantastic display of sportsmanship. Bartoli’s bad luck didn’t end there, unfortunately, as she was forced to retire from the match with an abdominal injury, seeing Rybarikova advance into the quarter-finals.
Opening Night Exhibition
In a special Opening Night Exhibition, Canada’s own Eugenie Bouchard was paired with Monica Seles, and the two took on Venus and Serena Williams in an entertaining match on Centre Court. The contest gave fans the special opportunity to see past, present, and future tennis stars play together, and left Williams impressed with the young Canadian, saying that “[Bouchard] is the future of tennis. She has a great game. So it will be great also for Canadians to see their local hero do so well.”
Guests of the opening night exhibition were also treated to a performance by Venus and on-site entertainer, Spandy Andy, who danced on Centre Court prior to the start of the match. It wasn’t the first time the two had been spotted busting a move around the grounds. Check out a video of them here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1drRxc-FPQ
Martina Hingis makes a comeback
Martina Hingis was one of the many legendary players who graced the courts of Rexall Centre this week, only it wasn’t for an exhibition match or the Rogers Legends Cup, it was part of her doubles comeback tour. Hingis announced that she was coming out of retirement at the end of July to compete alongside Daniela Hantuchova, and after the pair made it to the quarter-finals in Carlsbad, the pair came to Toronto to compete at Rogers Cup. The duo was eliminated in the second round, but fans were excited to see a former favourite return to the tournament once again.
Special surprise guests
Not only did the week’s exhibition matches feature appearances by former great tennis stars, but other famous faces stopped by Centre Court to oversee that the matches were being played properly. PK Subban, a defenceman for the Montreal Canadiens, dropped by John McEnroe and Pete Sampras’ exhibition on Saturday night to act as chair umpire match as the evening’s guest umpire, while Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli oversaw Friday night’s match between Sampras and James Blake. All of the exhibitions were great fun, made even more exciting by these surprise appearances!