After fondly reminiscing about the epic 1995 Sampras-Agassi final, we’re resurrecting a more recent saga this week: the 2013 fourth-round clash between our very own Vasek Pospisil and Czech ace Tomas Berdych.
When Montrealers shout Olé, Olé, Olé—a chant usually reserved for the Habs—you know something special is going on. Fresh off wins over John Isner (20) and Radek Stepanek (51), World no. 71 Vasek Pospisil had the local crowd roaring on National Bank Court. The stands were so full that fans started gathering on Centre Court’s upper deck to catch some of the action.
Pospisil seized the first set 7-5 but got into a bit of a slump in the second, as his serve, which had been a lethal weapon, began to falter. Despite fatigue and aching legs, he wasn’t about to give up.
With the boisterous crowd firmly behind him, the Canadian went all in and managed to force a third-set tiebreaker. When the two-and-a-half-hour battle ended, Pospisil had conquered his opponent. After standing for a stadium wave earlier in the match, spectators sprang from their seats to give the tournament’s new darling a thundering ovation.
“It was pretty incredible. I’ve never played in this kind of atmosphere,” said Pospisil afterwards.
Even Berdych felt that something extraordinary had transpired: “We’re not used to that. At other tournaments, even against local players, it’s not that loud. But it’s great! We need that. It’s why we play tennis. It’s an edge for him.”
Rogers Cup fans won’t soon forget this unbelievable match. And we have a sneaking suspicion that Vasek won’t either!