Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Rogers Cup 2010
They must be doing something right in Toronto. The Rogers Cup finished up last Sunday, with Andy Murray repeating as Men’s Singles Champion. No small feat in itself, as this was the first time in more than ten years that a singles champion was able to repeat.
But the most impressive feature about the tournament was the company Murray kept all week. All, repeat, ALL of the world’s best tennis players took part in the tournament. One of the good reasons for this is that the players consider the Rogers Cup to be a nice warm up for the United States Open. Another might have been the two million dollars plus in prize money.
But take nothing away from the organizers of this year’s Rogers Cup, aka the Canadian Open. In reality, it is not known as the Canadian Open, and has not been referred to as such for many years. That is what it is.
Murray plowed his way through competitors without losing a set. He finished up by beating Roger Federer in the final on Sunday. Despite a couple of rain drops here and there, the tournament was most successful, especially for Murray. As has been the case for many years, the crowd was decidedly in Federer’s court, to no avail.
He is the king, as least in the minds of most tennis fans. And rightfully so. He has done it all, and is on the top three list of men’s players of all time. Certainly, Pete Sampras is on that list. There might be some debate about the other qualifier. But Roger has handled himself with grace and aplomb all these years, and deserves all the accolades.
One bright spot for Canadian fans was the play of a young pair of Canucks: Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic. They threw their names into the hat for doubles play, and were matched against a couple of wily veterans. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. They are ranked as the top two tennis players in the world at this time.
The Canadian boys had nothing to lose. They played with the kind of abandon needed to steal a game or two against the big boys. Much to the delight of all Canadian tennis fans, Pospisil and Roanic won the match to move on to the second round. Perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments ever in Canadian tennis. And not totally surprising, as Nadal and Djokovic had never played as a doubles team before the event.
The kids served well, and played well at the net. They anticipated shots from their opponents, poached effectively when necessary. The following day, however, they were steamrolled by their opponents: Jurgen Melzner and Philipp Petzschner. Melzner, the fifteenth ranked player in the world had been beaten the previous day by another Canadian, Peter Polansky. Perhaps there was a bit of international revenge on his mind. Their doubles match was played on one of the outer courts at the tennis centre, located on the grounds of York University.
There are five courts used in the tournament, which is much more than a showcase of the world’s top players. It is a tennis extravaganza, a veritable feast for lovers of aces and deuces. There are rows and rows of tennis products from all the major manufacturers. There are games for kids of all ages. And yes, you may be able to pick up a new phone from you-know-who!
There is tennis this week in Montreal, women’s tennis. Once they are finished in Quebec, they will all reassemble in New York for the American championship. All in all, great tennis, especially for the up and coming Canadians.
Meet me at courtside. Remember, love is nothing in tennis. (A little corny?)
August 17, 2010