Photo : Pascal Ratthé / Tennis Canada
2019 is slowly coming to an end, which also means the end of a decade. Among the numerous memorable Rogers Cup moments, we have pulled together a list of ten that have stood out. Do you agree with our list?
2010 – Wozniacki becomes a fan favourite in Montreal
In 2010, the then world no. 2 Caroline Wozniacki came into Montreal with a tough draw. Before putting her hands on the trophy, the 20-year-old Dane had to overcome four players ranked inside the Top 20.
In the final, Wozniacki put on a dominant performance against Vera Zvonareva, then world no. 11, winning by a score of 6-3, 6-2, thus capturing the most important title of her young career. “Thank you for having waited out the rain to come see my matches! The fans in Montreal are the best!” stated the champion. This was the beginning of a great love story between Wozniacki and the fans in Montreal.
2011 – Djoko the Djoker
A real force of nature, Novak Djokovic came to Montreal in 2011 with eight titles in hand since the start of the season, notably two Grand Slams, and only two losses for the year. He continued his domination in the 514, adding a ninth title to his collection thanks to a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Mardy Fish. However, it was not only his performance on the court that garnered attention…
Admit it, it’s hard to watch this video without laughing, no?
2012 – The year of Aleks
Then ranked no. 55, Aleksandra Wozniak received a Wild Card into the main draw and she put it to good use.
Eliminating Daniela Hantuchova, Jelena Jankovic (the no. 13) and Christina McHale back-to-back, she would go on to put up a valiant fight against Caroline Wozniacki (then no. 7) before falling by a score of 6-4, 6-4 in the quarter-finals. The Quebec native certainly made the fans in Montreal proud. They even honoured her in 2019 as she was inducted into the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame.
2013 – Vasek’s semis
After eliminating John Isner and Radek Stepanek, Vasek Pospisil had the tough task of facing then world no. 6 Tomas Berdych. Playing in front of a sold out crowd on National Bank Court, the “olé, olé, olé” chants commonly sung at the Bell Centre could be heard towards the end of the match. A sign that something special was about to happen.
A few minutes later, the Canadian capped off the upset, defeating Berdych 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(5) to the great delight of the Montreal fans.
Pospisil then benefitted from the withdrawal of Nikolay Davydenko to join his compatriot Milos Raonic in the semi-finals. For the first time in 23 years, two Canadians would be facing-off in the final four of an ATP tournament. What a year!
2014 – The Williams sisters come to town
As Serena was making her first appearance in Montreal in 14 years and Venus was playing the tournament for the very first time, tennis fans were spoiled even more thanks to a semi-final duel between the two sisters, the 25th encounter of their careers.
Even though Serena held a winning record against her sister, it was Venus that came away with the victory.
We hope to be able to witness another great battle before they retire!
2015 – A historic final
For the first time since 1995, the Montreal crowd got to see the tournament’s top two seeds face off in the Rogers Cup final, as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic battled it out for the title.
After having lost at the hands of the Serb four times since the start of the season, Murray managed to get his revenge by notching a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory, allowing him to lift his third trophy on Canadian soil.
Only four other players managed to get their hattricks before him: Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi and Ivan Lendl. What an accomplishment!
2016 – Genie mania
Eugenie Bouchard, who was returning to Montreal after a below par performance at the Rogers Cup in 2014, did not disappoint. The Montreal native, who was ranked no. 42, began her campaign by defeating Lucie Safarova, then no. 28, and went on to cause the upset over Dominika Cibulkova, the tournament’s 11th seed, in straight sets 6-2, 6-0 on a packed Centre Court.
With the full support of the crowd behind her, Bouchard attempted to continue her winning ways, but ultimately fell at the hands of Kristina Kucova in the third round.
2017 – Shapo’s Cinderella run
No need to go into all the specific details on this one, you surely haven’t forgotten it!
After reaching the third round thanks to wins against Rogerio Dutra Silva and Juan Martin del Potro, the 17-year-old Canadian found himself up against the no. 2 player in the world, Rafael Nadal. We all know what happened next.
Despite dropping the opening set 6-3, the young Canadian, propelled by the energy from the crowd, took the next two sets 6-4 and 7-6 thanks to his nerves of steel, tenacity and fighting spirit.
He made the stadium erupt, literally.
2018 – Match of the year
In a rematch of the French Open final of the same year, the No. 1 and no. 3 players in the world, Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens, faced-off on Centre Court.
The match was full of momentum swings, as there were 15 breaks of serve in 32 games, keeping the crowd on their toes under the blazing sun. After almost three hours of play, it was Halep who came away with the 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-4 victory.
It was quite the spectacle! The duel was even named match of the year by the WTA. How lucky are we that we got to witness it!
2019 – Félix’s homecoming
Montrealers were waiting with anticipation to welcome Félix Auger-Aliassime for the first time at IGA Stadium, especially since he was having a stellar season.
The draw, however, was not kind to Auger-Aliassime, as he had to face compatriot Vasek Pospisil in the opening round before going up against Milos Raonic in the following round. After both players took a set, an injury forced Raonic to retire from the match, opening the path to the third round for Auger-Aliassime. The young Canadian would then have to take on the tournament’s sixth seed Karen Khachanov… on his birthday!
Although he won the first set, it was his opponent who would walk away with the victory. Auger-Aliassime’s future is bright and there will be many more opportunities for him to go on deep runs in Montreal!
Such memorable moments during a great decade! We are excited to see what the next ten years have in store!