Nadal Remains Undefeated on Hardcourts in 2013, Cruises @CoupeRogers Montreal

Nadal Remains Undefeated on Hardcourts in 2013, Cruises @CoupeRogers Montreal

Nadal 4

Rafael Nadal made quick work of local favorite Milos Raonic in the Montreal Masters final, winning 6-2, 6-2 in 68 minutes. The title is his 25th overall Masters title, his 3rd Rogers Cup title and his 4th Masters title this year. The wins keep mounting for Rafa and he only has 3 losses to his name so far this year.

Nadal 2013 Montreal

He added wins this week over Jesse Levine, Jerzy Janowicz and Marinko Matosevic in straights, before needing 3 sets to take care of Novak Djokovic, as he dominated both the first set and the final set tiebreak. In the Janowicz match, JJ had a chance to take the opening set but Rafa denied him. As mentioned, he dropped just the single set to Djokovic this week.

Nadal 2013 Montreal

Raonic passed a milestone in his career this week and he is now inside the top 10 after reaching his first Masters final at home in front of pumped Canadian fans. This run also came out of nowhere really, as his form going in had been quite poor. He beat Jeremy Chardy in 3 sets, eking out a first round win, then dispatched Mikhail Youzhny and Ernests Gulbis before meeting the Canadian #2 and fellow career climber Vasek Pospisil. The All-Canadian semifinal took 3 sets and a final set tiebreak, but Raonic would be the sturdier player, and relied on his serve and forehand to carry him throughout the week.

In doubles, Alex Peya and Bruno Soares won their first Masters title over Colin Fleming and the usual singles player Andy Murray, who did better in doubles this week than he did in singles. He also added some flavor to the usually undercard doubles event. Nadal also participated in doubles with Pablo Andujar but withdrew during the tournament.

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@Sorana_Cirstea Tears Through Toronto to Reach 1st Final in 5 Years @RogersCupTo

Sorana Cirstea Tears Through Toronto to Reach 1st Final in 5 Years #RogersCupTo

Cirstea, Washington 2013

She’s been on the radar to some degree for a while now. This year alone, she made the semis at Pattaya and Stanford, the quarterfinals at Birmingham, and the Round of 16 at Charleston and Miami. Now everyone knows her name, but they still can’t pronounce it.

Today, Cirstea (Keer-stay-uh) advanced to her first final in five years in a solid 6-1, 7-6(5) beating of Na Li at Rogers Cup in Toronto. Tomorrow, she’ll face either Agnieszka Radwanska or Serena Williams in her first ever Premier 5 Final.

 

Cirstea was ranked #26 to begin the week, and will move into the top 20 as a result of trashing the Toronto field. She has torn through Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic, Petra Kvitova and Na Li, and that’s just since Monday. If anyone can stop the unstoppable Serena Williams, she has the best chance. Serena does have a 2-0 H2H against Cirstea, with Serena dominating both contests at 2012 Stanford and this year at Roland Garros. That record is a heck of a lot better than Radwanska’s 0-5 H2H against Serena.

 

Oh, yeah. She is a super-nice person to interview, she jumps out of planes for fun, and you think you can’t spell or pronounce her name? Well, last week she told me that Starbucks is the worst and that she’s just going to tell them her name is Mike or Bob the next time she goes for a latte in the little interview below.

You can call yourself whatever you like if you keep winning like this.

—S. Fogleman

 

Canadian Conquest @CoupeRogers @RogersCupTo; Wednesday’s Schedule

Canadian Conquest @CoupeRogers @RogersCupTo; Wednesday’s Schedule

This Land is Our Land

This Land is Our Land

Canada Day is supposed to be celebrated on July 1st. But for Tennis Canada, August 6th seems like a more appropriate date. Yesterday, there were celebrations in both languages and great moments of national unity due to  massive successes on the hard courts of Montreal and Toronto. Most Canadian players were celebrating long three set comeback wins, so it will be interesting to see if fatigue is a factor today as they continue their marches to the titles.

In Montreal, junior sensation Filip Peliwo was already on his way to winning a first round ATP match with Jarko Niemenen retired at 3-6, 7-5, 3-1. It marks Peliwo’s first win as a pro. He’ll play Denis Istomin at noon today.

Filip Peliwo

Filip Peliwo

Vasek Pospisil provided his Canadian fans with a shocker of his own, a 5-7, 7-6(5), 7-6(4) victory over a red-hot John Isner. For his troubles, Vashy will face Radek Stepanek later today.

Also, Frank Dancevic delighted the faithful at Parc Jarry with a three set win against qualifier Yendy Lu, 5-7, 7-6(6), 6-1. He’ll try to duplicate that success against Jerzy Janowicz today.

Not wanting to be left out of the Tennis Canada party, standard-bearer Milos Raonic edged Jeremy Chardy, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5. Mikhail Youzhny is on his docket today.

Jesse Levine

And don’t forget Jesse Levine, who advanced on Monday. He’s got the tallest order of all today, as he tries to upstage the upsetters. He’s got Rafa Nadal today.

On the women’s side in Toronto at the Centre of the Universe, Canadian phenom and national darling Eugenie Bouchard was all poise in her conquest of Alisa Kleybanova, 6-3, 6-1. That poise will be tested tonight as Bouchard does battle with Petra Kvitova.

Genie Bouchard

About the only bad news Canadians got yesterday was that two Canadians had to play each other. Sharon Fichman and Stephanie Dubois are no strangers to the others games, so it was no surprise that a grueling three setter ensued. In the end, the recent successes of Fichman continued as she won 5-7, 6-2, 6-2. Fichman plays Jelena Jankovic for a trip to the third round.

—Steve Fogleman

TORONTO RESULTS, TUESDAY AUGUST 6, 2013 / RÉSULTATS DE TORONTO DU MARDI 6 AOÛT 2013
Singles – Second Round / simple – 2e tour
[3] A Radwanska (POL) d Y Wickmayer (BEL) 62 63
D Cibulkova (SVK) d [8] A Kerber (GER) 67(0) 62 75

First Round / 1er tour
[11] M Kirilenko (RUS) d [Q] P Martic (CRO) 62 61
[12] S Stosur (AUS) d [Q] J Glushko (ISR) 57 62 63
[13] K Flipkens (BEL) d V Williams (USA) 06 64 62
[15] J Jankovic (SRB) d [Q] A Tatishvili (GEO) 76(6) 46 63
[16] A Ivanovic (SRB) d S Hsieh (TPE) 61 62
F Schiavone (ITA) d [Q] C Scheepers (RSA) 26 63 63
M Rybarikova (SVK) d [Q] A Dulgheru (ROU) 64 63
[Q] L Davis (USA) d [LL] S Kuznetsova (RUS) 36 75 75
A Cornet (FRA) d E Vesnina (RUS) 63 63
E Makarova (RUS) d [Q] A Rodionova (AUS) 61 75
[WC] E Bouchard (CAN) d A Kleybanova (RUS) 63 61
C Suarez Navarro (ESP) d J Hampton (USA) 64 64
[WC] S Fichman (CAN) d [WC] S Dubois (CAN) 57 62 62

Doubles – Second Round / Double – 2e tour
[1] S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA) d K Marosi (HUN) / M Moulton-Levy (USA) 64 36 10-5

First Round / 1er tour[5] S Mirza (IND) / J Zheng (CHN) d N Grandin (RSA) / D Jurak (CRO) 46 76(5) 10-2
[6] L Huber (USA) / N Llagostera Vives (ESP) d [PR] S Kuznetsova (RUS) / F Pennetta (ITA) 76(2) 76(6)
J Goerges (GER) / B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) d [7] K Mladenovic (FRA) / G Voskoboeva (KAZ) 75 64
H Chan (TPE) / E Hrdinova (CZE) d A Klepac (SLO) / V Lepchenko (USA) 62 63
[WC] D Hantuchova (SVK) / M Hingis (SUI) d [WC] A Kerber (GER) / P Kvitova (CZE) 64 62
I Begu (ROU) / O Govortsova (BLR) d S Soler-Espinosa (ESP) / K Zakopalova (CZE) 64 26 10-5
A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) d J Husarova (SVK) / P Martic (CRO) 46 64 10-5

MONTREAL RESULTS, SUNDAY AUGUST 4, 2013 / RÉSULTATS DE MONTRÉAL DU DIMANCHE 4 AOÛT 2013
Singles – Second Round / simple – 2e tour
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) d F Mayer (GER) 62 61
[7] R Gasquet (FRA) d M Klizan (SVK) 63 62
[9] K Nishikori (JPN) d A Seppi (ITA) 46 75 61

First Round / 1er tour
[10] T Haas (GER) d [Q] D Goffin (BEL) 76(4) 63
[11] M Raonic (CAN) d J Chardy (FRA) 63 46 75
R Stepanek (CZE) d [12] N Almagro (ESP) 63 67(4) 63
[13] F Fognini (ITA) d M Baghdatis (CYP) 16 61 61
N Davydenko (RUS) d [14] G Simon (FRA) 26 61 61
[15] J Janowicz (POL) d J Benneteau (FRA) 36 63 75
[WC] F Peliwo (CAN) d J Nieminen (FIN) 36 75 31 Retired
[WC] F Dancevic (CAN) d [Q] Y Lu (TPE) 57 76(6) 61
A Dolgopolov (UKR) d K Anderson (RSA) 76(0) 64
[WC] V Pospisil (CAN) d J Isner (USA) 57 76(5) 76(4)
[Q] A Bogomolov Jr. (RUS) d M Llodra (FRA) 62 46 63
M Youzhny (RUS) d J Melzer (AUT) 64 76(3)
M Granollers (ESP) d G Dimitrov (BUL) 64 64
Doubles – First Round / Double – 1er tour
A Seppi (ITA) / M Youzhny (RUS) d [Alt] J Chardy (FRA) / L Kubot (POL) 64 63
D Inglot (GBR) / J Janowicz (POL) d A Begemann (GER) / R Bopanna (IND) 76(4) 64
P Andujar (ESP) / R Nadal (ESP) d D Ferrer (ESP) / F Lopez (ESP) 67(2) 61 12-10
M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) d B Paire (FRA) / S Wawrinka (SUI) 76(6) 62

TORONTO ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 7, 2013 / HORAIRE DES MATCHS DE TORONTO – MERCREDI 7 AOÛT 2013

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am / débute à 11 h
A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs [4] N Li (CHN)

Not Before 1:00 PM
[Q] L Davis (USA) vs [7] [WC] M Bartoli (FRA)

Not Before 3:00 PM
K Zakopalova (CZE) vs [5] S Errani (ITA)

Not Before 7:00 PM
[1] S Williams (USA) vs F Schiavone (ITA)
[6] P Kvitova (CZE) vs [WC] E Bouchard (CAN)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
[11] M Kirilenko (RUS) vs A Cornet (FRA)
[15] J Jankovic (SRB) vs [WC] S Fichman (CAN)
[16] A Ivanovic (SRB) vs F Pennetta (ITA)
S Cirstea (ROU) vs [9] C Wozniacki (DEN)
C Suarez Navarro (ESP) vs [12] S Stosur (AUS)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
M Barthel (GER) vs [14] S Stephens (USA)
E Makarova (RUS) vs [10] R Vinci (ITA)
[Q] K Bertens (NED) vs [13] K Flipkens (BEL)
[WC] G Dabrowski (CAN) / S Fichman (CAN) vs [8] A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) / L Safarova (CZE) – After Suitable Rest

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
[5] S Mirza (IND) / J Zheng (CHN) vs O Kalashnikova (GEO) / A Rosolska (POL)

Not Before 1:30 PM
V Lepchenko (USA) vs M Rybarikova (SVK)

Not Before 3:30 PM
J Jankovic (SRB) / K Srebotnik (SLO) vs D Cibulkova (SVK) / S Hsieh (TPE) – After Suitable Rest

COURT 3 start 11:00 am
[4] R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA) vs H Chan (TPE) / E Hrdinova (CZE)
I Begu (ROU) / O Govortsova (BLR) vs [3] A Groenefeld (GER) / K Peschke (CZE)

Not Before 3:30 PM
A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) vs [2] E Makarova (RUS) / E Vesnina (RUS) – After Suitable Rest

Click here for printable version. / Cliquez ici pour obtenir une version imprimable.

MONTREAL ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2013 / HORAIRE DES MATCHS DE MONTRÉAL – MERCREDI 7 AOÛT 2013

CENTRAL start 12:00 noon / débute à midi
M Granollers (ESP) vs [2] A Murray (GBR)

Not Before 14:00
[4] R Nadal (ESP) vs [WC] J Levine (CAN)

Not Before 18:00
M Youzhny (RUS) vs [11] M Raonic (CAN)

Not Before 20:00
[6] J Del Potro (ARG) vs I Dodig (CRO)

BN COURT start 12:00 noon
[WC] V Pospisil (CAN) vs R Stepanek (CZE)
[5] T Berdych (CZE) vs A Dolgopolov (UKR)
[WC] F Dancevic (CAN) vs [15] J Janowicz (POL)

Not Before 19:00
[Q] A Bogomolov Jr. (RUS) vs [3] D Ferrer (ESP)

COURT 9 start 12:00 noon
[13] F Fognini (ITA) vs E Gulbis (LAT)
[WC] F Peliwo (CAN) vs D Istomin (UZB)
J Benneteau (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs C Fleming (GBR) / A Murray (GBR)
N Davydenko (RUS) vs P Andujar (ESP)

COURT 5 start 13:00
B Paire (FRA) vs [8] S Wawrinka (SUI)
[10] T Haas (GER) vs [Q] M Matosevic (AUS)
T Berdych (CZE) / M Llodra (FRA) vs M Klizan (SVK) / J Tipsarevic (SRB)
G Dimitrov (BUL) / P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [WC] F Dancevic (CAN) / A Shamasdin (CAN)

2013 ATP Montreal Rogers Cup Preview #CoupeRogers

2013 ATP Montreal Rogers Cup Preview

Rogers Cup Official Site

Most of the big names will be back in action this week as they begin the drive towards the US Open. For some, like Murray, Nadal and Djokovic, it is their first time in match play since Wimbledon. The Rogers Cup men’s edition is in Montreal this year, as it alternates between Montreal and Toronto on a yearly basis along with the WTA edition. Tennis East Coast is very pleased to have some coverage of the early part of the week with our own Courtney Massey roving the grounds.

ATP Montreal
Rogers Cup/Coupe Rogers
ATP World Tour Masters 1000
Montreal, Canada
August 5-August 11, 2013
Prize Money: $2,887,085

Top 8 seeds (who all receive first round byes)
1: Novak Djokovic
2: Andy Murray
3: David Ferrer
4: Rafael Nadal
5: Tomas Berdych
6: Juan Martin Del Potro
7: Richard Gasquet
8: Stanislas Wawrinka

Roger Federer has struggled, and for personal and health reasons chose to skip this event. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is also missing from the field with a knee injury, but 8 of the top 10 are participating. Other notable withdrawals include Gael Monfils and Mardy Fish.

First round matchups to watch:

Jarkko Nieminen vs. (wc)Filip Peliwo

Filip Peliwo

Filip Peliwo

Nieminen comes off a lengthy layoff since Wimbledon, and though he should be happy to return to hard courts, his form has not been the best recently. Peliwo is a 19 year old rising Canadian who has done very well: first at futures and now at the challenger level this year. He is ranked 353 and still has a long way to go, but local organizers gave him a wild card and he will actually have an outsiders shot at an upset here. Peliwo had an amazing 2012 before turning pro, making all 4 junior Grand Slam finals and winning 2 of them (The Junior US Open and Junior Wimbledon). He was also the world #1 junior during that period.

Benoit Paire vs. Phillip Kohlschreiber

Philipp Kohlschreiber

Philipp Kohlschreiber

Kohli is 2-1 career against Paire with all three of their meetings on hardcourts. They played a memorable five-setter at the US Open last year, while Paire beat Peppo in straights at Indian Wells this year. Paire comes off injury, while Kohli will be adjusting to hard courts off of clay. The quality may be reduced, but expect some drama.

John Isner vs. (wc)Vasek Pospisil

Vasek Pospisil

Vasek Pospisil

Isner is coming off the DC final, after winning Atlanta the week before and playing Newport before that. Such a whirlwind schedule, paired with his propensity to play deep sets and lots of tiebreaks could very well wear the top ranked American down. He gets Pospisil, who has been on the other side of Canada, in Vancouver, where he is currently in the final and perhaps will also be tired. He will still be on his home turf. The career h2h is 1-all, with both meetings coming on hard courts, and Isner beat Vashy in 3 sets in San Jose this year. I think Isner survives but tiebreaks may be in order again. Perhaps three of them.

(11)Milos Raonic vs. Jeremy Chardy

Raonic

Raonic


Raonic has been atrocious as of late, and as the big Canadian hope, he would hate to trip up early against Chardy, who has also been poor recently, both are lanky solid servers, and because Montreal is in French Canada, the Frenchman Chardy should also have a decent cheering section. I expect Raonic to get through, but he could have trouble.

(13)Fabio Fognini vs. Marcos Baghdatis

A tale of two totally different years for Forza and Baggy. Fognini has had a career year and now looks to take that quality play to hardcourts. Baghdatis has had a terrible year but somehow found form in DC, where he beat Lukas Lacko and amazingly upset Kei Nishikori before losing to John Isner in 3 sets (like so many others). Most things point to Fognini here, but if Baghdatis can go against the odds and continue his decent play, he could win this. Fognini won two clay court meetings last year, but Baghdatis won their (indoor) hard court meeting.

Ernests Gulbis vs. Feliciano Lopez

Feli Lopez

Feli Lopez

Gulbis is 3-1 against Lopez in his career and routined the Spaniard at Indian Wells this year. That being said, while both are inconsistent, Lopez has been a tad bit better. This could again go either way, and with such unpredictable players, this could be a tremendous match or someone could be served baked goods.

Top Half:

Novak Djokovic looks for his 3rd straight Rogers Cup title, facing the winner of Bernard Tomic/Florian Mayer in his first match. Djoker could meet Nieminen/Peliwo or Denis Istomin/Janko Tipsarevic in Round 3. Istomin has been decent enough recently and expect him to “upset” the way-out-of-form Tipsarevic, who actually gave Djokovic a solid match at the Rogers Cup last year.

Richard Gasquet has final points to defend here, and he will return to hard courts against Martin Klizan/Thomaz Bellucci. If Gasquet wins that he could meet Kei Nishikori, a qualifier, or Andreas Seppi/Lukas Rosol in Round 3. Rosol, with his style of play, would be expected to do well on North American hard courts, but he has been very poor in recent tournaments.

Rafa Nadal is back, facing Jesse Levine or Xaiver Malisse. He could also see Jerzy Janowicz, who is also back on tour this week, if JJ can take out Julien Benneteau and then Frank Dancevic or a qualifier.

Stan Wawrinka will hopefully be recovered from his back troubles. He will play the Kohlischreiber/Paire winner in a much anticipated Round 2 match, and then Tommy Haas, a DC semifinalist, or one of three qualifiers. This is a rough and tumble section.

Bottom Half:

Andy Murray faces Grigor Dimitrov for the third time this year, if Grisha can beat Marcel Granollers (who is coming off the Kitzbuhel clay court title). Murray won the previous two meetings, both on hardcourts, and should move on to face Fognini/Baghdatis or Gulbis/Lopez. There, he will again face a solid enough opponent, but probably not someone who can beat him.

DC Champ Del Potro will face Ivan Dodig or Grega Zemlja before dueling with Mikhail Youzhny/Jurgen Melzer or Chardy/Raonic. Del Po should be good enough to win his first two matches. Melzer lost in the opening round of the Kitzbuhel clay event.

Ferrer in MTL

Ferrer in MTL


David Ferrer gets Michael Llodra or a qualifier before a face-off with a qualifier/Pablo Andujar or Gilles Simon/Nikolay Davydenko. Everyone in Ferrer’s section at the start is in terrible form, meaning the Spaniard should not have trouble.

Tomas Berdych could face Kevin Anderson for sixth time in 2013 alone. Berdych has beaten the South African each and every time they have played, which has been ten times in the last two years. Anderson just has to beat the severely slumping Alex Dolgopolov. After that, Berdych/Anderson should run into John Isner or Nicolas Almagro, with Pospisil and Almagro’s first round opponent Radek Stepanek also options. Isner/Anderson would be an Atlanta final rematch, and Berdych/Almagro, the more likely matchup, would be another big rematch event, as Berdych beat Almagro 5 out of 6 times last year.

Predictions

Quarters:
Djokovic d. Gasquet
Nadal d. Haas
Berdych d. Ferrer
Murray d. Del Potro

All four players who I predict to win should be heavily favored, assuming everyone is healthy and in good form. Del Potro, Ferrer and Haas could provide trouble, but I don’t expect upsets. Djokovic beat Gasquet twice last year on hardcourts, including in the Toronto final. Nadal is 5-0 career against Haas, with all of their meetings happening on hardcourts. Ferrer has a 3-1 fast courts advantage over Berdych, but I still like Tomas in this one. Murray is 5-2 career against Del Potro, though Del Potro beat him in 3 sets in Indian Wells this year.

Semis:
Djokovic d. Nadal
Murray d. Berdych

Between the Rogers Cup being a comfortable place for Novak and his generally more consistent hard court form, including winning most of his hard court meetings against Nadal in the past, I like him over Rafa. Murray should be superior to Berdych.

Final:
Murray d. Djokovic

In a reprisal of the Wimbledon final, I like Murray again. Djokovic is 4-1 since 2012 on hard courts against Murray, but looking at all of their meetings, it is hard to parse the favorite no matter what. I have to go with gut feeling.

Weekend De La Famille @CoupeRogers: Always a Hit!

Weekend De La Famille @CoupeRogers: Always a Hit!

Kid's and Family Weekend: Always a Hit!

Kid’s and Family Weekend: Always a Hit!

Kids, Mascots, and the Rogers Cup. Oh my!

Located in the city of Montreal, the Rogers Cup receives tennis fans from all over the world to grace its grounds. The start of the tournament is already buzzing with activities for young and old. Tournaments usually have a kid’s day, but the Rogers Cup takes it up a notch with their free Kid’s and Family weekend.

Woman on Stilts

As you walk through the grounds, you’re met with colorful surroundings of charming mascots, an inflatable bouncy castle, face painting and tennis games for all ages! One of the first people I saw as I entered the grounds was a woman dressed in a long vintage style dress walking on stilts. She was making her way effortlessly from tent to tent, ducking and bending to fit under the entry ways. You could not pay me enough to try that out! I wouldn’t even test out my neighbor’s pogo stick as a child.

Kid’s and Family weekend is also a great opportunity to watch your favorite players.

Andy Murray, Montreal 2013

Lots of practice and pre-tournament action are on schedule with some of the biggest names like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray. They’re all there and you can easily snag a front row seat on the main stage.

The Only Fed Sighting in MTL

The Only Fed Sighting in MTL

The ATP also set up a hockey ball tournament that features NHL hockey players. We are in Canada after all! The hockey players in the lineup include Alexandre Burrows of the Vancouver Canucks, Georges Laraque, and Daniel Brière who is the newest player on the Montreal Canadiens. There is a lot of buzz going around about him!

Saturday and Sunday events also include an ATP soccer match. You know how those tennis players like the futbol!

As I was making my way through Practice Friday, I kept my attention on the outer practice courts. Although the grounds already have a big crowd, the practice area was still sparse for the most part.

Filip Peliwo

Filip Peliwo

At the practice court reserved for Tennis Canada, there was a nice long hit between Canadians Peter Polansky and Filip Peliwo. Both recieved wildcards into the qualifying draw. I must say, these Canadians are pretty charming and fun to watch. If you are familiar with me prior to this article, than you know about my affection for the Latvian tennis players. Well, over the last few weeks in Granby and Montreal, the Canadians are making a mark on my heart as well.

Dr. Ivo in MTL

Dr. Ivo in MTL

Ivo Karlovic was out on the practice courts a couple times. After the health scares he has had recently, it was extra special to see him out there. I had a huge urge to run out and give him a hug but I figured I better let him continue practicing. That seemed like the wise thing to do as credentialed media.

A player that I really like is Philipp Kohlschreiber. I don’t hear his name around my tennis circles too often, and I think that needs to change. I’ve been attending his practices for the last few years and he’s always been entertaining. I’m sure it would be even more entertaining if I followed my German roots and learned the language, but who has the time? He works hard, and you can see he’s having fun in the process. If you get the chance, sit and watch a few minutes of his practices. You won’t be disappointed. By off-chance you do find yourself disappointed, I guess I will let you send me your anger in tweets.

David Ferrer had double practice duty, first practicing with a very-clothed Feliciano Lopez. Sorry, fangirls. I can only do so much. Blame Mother Nature! Later, he was practicing with Rafael Nadal, who was also clothed but that’s not as unusual.

Taking a peak on Center Court, Andy Murray hit with Frenchie Richard Gasquet. The crowds surrounding the matches on Center were already Final-worthy.

Here are some other familiar faces to enjoy.

Feli Lopez

Tobias Kamke

Ferrer

The adventure for me in Montreal has only begun. I hope you stay tuned!

- Courtney Massey, TennisEastCoast.com (@CM_TravelingFG)

 

Djokovic Defends Rogers Cup: ATP Toronto Recap

Djokovic Defends Rogers Cup: ATP Toronto Recap

Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com

Novak Djokovic defended his Rogers Cup title in Toronto and was top dog all week as he finished the tournament off dispatching surprise finalist Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-2 in a routine match. Previously in the week, he handled Bernard Tomic,  Sam Querrey, and Tommy Haas in three sets and countryman Janko Tipsarevic in a slugfest semi-final that was interrupted by rain. In fact, the Toronto tournament had to deal with weather interruptions all week. Tipsarevic repeated his Rogers Cup semifinal performance.

For Gasquet, he jumps into the top 15 by reaching his third masters final and his first in six years, but he has never won a Masters event. In order to reach the final, he beat Mikhail Kukushkin, 4 seed Tomas Berdych, 2011 Rogers Cup finalist Mardy Fish and a likely fatigued John Isner, who had had to play two matches in one day the day before (beating Phillip Kohlschreiber in three and Milos Raonic in straights).

Gasquet’s on a Tear heading into Flushing Meadows

In doubles, the Bryan Brothers earned another big title, beating Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez.

In other North American tennis news, Steve Johnson won the Aptos, California challenger title on the USTA pro circuit.

2012 ATP Toronto Rogers Cup Preview

2012 ATP Toronto Rogers Cup Preview

Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com

The first hard court masters event of the summer, the Rogers Cup in Toronto will begin in earnest today right out of the Olympics. Notable withdrawals include Rafael Nadal, still dealing with knee issues, and Olympic silver medalist Roger Federer. Olympic gold medalist Murray and bronze medalist Del Potro, along with Djokovic, plan to compete. The top sixteen seeds receive first round byes.

ATP Toronto

Rogers Cup

ATP World Tour Masters 1000

Toronto, Canada

August 6- August 12, 2012

Prize Money: $2,648,700

Top 8 seeds (who all receive first round byes)

1: Novak Djokovic

2: Andy Murray

3: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

4: Tomas Berdych

5: Janko Tipsarevic

6: Juan Martin Del Potro

7: Juan Monaco

8: John Isner

First round matchups to watch:

Tommy Haas vs. David Nalbandian

In a battle of  skilled veterans, the red-hot Haas, a Washington finalist, will take on Nalby. Haas will be a favorite as he has played more on hardcourts now.

Kevin Anderson vs. Mihail Youzhny

Both these guys have had an up and down year and are certainly talented. They also play contrasting styles, and while Anderson is usually slightly better on hardcourts, Youzhny has played better recently but suffered a first round loss at the Olympics. These guys are just a couple of places apart from each other in the rankings.

Kevin Anderson

Alex Bogomolov vs. Viktor Troicki

Bogomolov has had a horrendous 2012, but he did manage to snatch a first round win at the Olympics this week over Carlos Berlocq. On the other side of things, Troicki lost in the first round of the Olympics to Nicolas Almagro, but has had a pretty decent year, doing well in both Wimbledon (R16) and the French Open (R32).

Top Half:

Novak Djokovic, the unlucky loser of the Olympic bronze medal match, will try to regroup first against either a continually slumping Bernard Tomic, who will be happy to be back on hardcourts or a qualifier. After that, he could face dangerous 13-seed Kei Nishikori, who upset David Ferrer and made the Olympic quarterfinals or CitiOpen semifinalist and LA champion Sam Querrey. If he gets through that, he likely faces a rematch with the man who beat him for the Olympic bronze, Juan Martin Del Potro, in the quarterfinals.

Del Potro  will face either Radek Stepanek or DC champion Alexandr Dolgopolov, and then could get the man Dolgopolov beat in the DC final, the scorching Tommy Haas. If that match comes to fruition, it will be brilliant given the high level of play both guys have been at recently. 9-seed Gilles Simon, who has struggled recently, is also in this part of the draw and will play the winner of Haas/Nalbandian.

Tsonga is huge crowd fave in Canada

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who did well to make the quarters in Olympic singles, will face the winner of Jeremy Chardy vs. Donald Young in his opener. After that, he could get either Florian Mayer or Marcel Granollers, a couple of players more comfortable on clay. The quarters could find him facing Janko Tipsarevic. This is not a bad draw for Jo Willie.

Tipsarevic  will face the winner of Youzhny/Anderson and then could face 10-seed Marin Cilic or Marcos Baghdatis in the third round.

Bottom Half:

Olympic Gold Medalist and two- time Rogers Cup champion Andy Murray will come off the biggest win of his career and face a qualifier in the second round. He could get home favorite Milos Raonic and another big serving big man, John Isner in the quarters. These are tricky matchups, but given his form, he should be able to do well adjusting to the hard courts.

Isner will face the winner of Pablo Andujar/Lukas Lacko and then likely faces a somewhat tricky Phillip Kohlschreiber in the third round, with the winner making the quarters.

Tomas Berdych, struggling as of late,  starts off against Julien Benneteau or a qualifier and then could face another Frenchman, Richard Gasquet, in the third round. In the quarters, the winner could get Juan Monaco, Mardy Fish or maybe even Andreas Seppi of Italy.

Pico Monaco starts off against the winner of Seppi vs. Canadian favorite and Olympian Vasek Pospisil. He’d then likely face Mardy Fish, (still dealing with ankle issues, it seems) in the third round.

Dark Horse/Cheval Sombre: Juan Monaco

 

Pico is your Dark Horse/Cheval Sombre

Monaco has been hot as of late, even though he suffered a second round loss to Feliciano Lopez in the Olympics. He’s a new top 10′er and was a winner of three clay court events this year and a finalist in another. He also made the semis of the hard court event in Indian Wells this year, beating his most likely ‘trip up’ in his part of the draw, Mardy Fish.  His quarterfinals match up would likely be either the inconsistent Richard Gasquet or the struggling Tomas Berdych, neither of which is an impossible match up, giving him a good shot at the semis.

Predictions:

Semis:

Djokovic d. Tsonga

Murray d. Monaco

Final:

Murray d. Djokovic

Andy will try to keep the momentum going in Canada.

2012 CitiOpen Press Conference: Genie Bouchard of Tennis Canada

Are you enjoying Washington?

Two days ago, we were driving back from the club to the hotel. All the roads were blocked off, and there were all these police. I was like ‘Oh my god, the President is going to drive by!’. I wanted to stay and watch but the driver was like ‘No’. I love all that stuff. I’m into politics.

On Growing up an Anglophone in Montreal:

The City of Westmount is a small English city in Montreal. Montreal and the rest of Quebec are very French. People are surprised that English is my first language because my name is Genie Bouchard and it’s a French Canadian name. English is the universal language. But I can speak French pretty well.

Into Politics?

I’m more into the American brand, because in Quebec, yeah!  I’m so excited because I’m registered to vote, so whenever the next elections are, for Mayor or whatever, I’m going to vote for everything.

On winning Wimbledon:

It was a great feeling. To win my first grand slam and also to make history, it gave me more confidence.

On meeting Federer at Wimbledon:

Yeah. The best part! I talked to Roger for like five minutes. We got a picture, me and Phillip (Peliwo), who won the boys. We just expected him to come up for the picture. And he’s like, ‘What’s next? What’s your pro ranking?’. He’s asking us what we’re doing. He said, ‘When I was 18, I was 300, too’. I’m thinking, that’s a sign! We talked about his twins, because I’m a twin. I told him ‘I love your twins. You dress them up the same.’. He says ‘if you don’t dress them the same, they’re going to fight’. My mom used to do that to us. He is the nicest guy. Serena left the stage right away, but he stayed and talked to everyone.

On Being a Twin:

My twin sister thinks we have some sort of telepathic thing going on. We’re complete opposites. My mom started us both in tennis when we were five, and she quit when she was six, so we don’t have a tennis thing in common. My mom and sister were with me in Wimbledon and Granby.

On Playing Juniors:

In the pros, you’re the underdog all the time. In the juniors, there’s less pressure.

Watching any Olympics?

Actually, two nights ago, I told my coach I wasn’t going to dinner with him. I was ordering room service and I was watching the ceremonies. I love the Olympics. I watched a lot of them in Vancouver two years ago. I’m jealous. I want to be there, but being at CitiOpen’s not a bad place either.

What’s the best part of the support you’ve received from Tennis Canada?

I think the biggest thing is there’s so much funding to travel all the world and that gives us a chance to win. Tennis is an international sport, and you really need to get out of Canada. They help the most with that.

What’s it going to be like at Rogers Cup with your homecoming? Are you ready to be treated as a national celebrity?

I don’t know if I’ll be treated as a national celebrity! It’s really cool. My whole family will be there as well. I played at Jarry when I was eight years old, so it really is a home tournament.

Meet Our New Correspondent

2010 Legg Mason Kid's Day, Washington

We’re pleased to introduce Annabel, Tennis Maryland’s newest contributor. Annabel has been a tennis fan since she attended the Rogers Cup ATP event in Montreal, Canada on her first birthday in 2009, watching Novak Djokovic win on Court Banque National and Andy Roddick prosper at Stade Uniprix.

She followed that experience with a debutante appearance at Legg Mason Kid’s Day in 2010 and a return visit to Montreal, this time for the WTA event.



Around this time, Annabel’s mom put her tennis foot down and declared that Annabel ought never to be seated in the front row at a pro match for reasons involving the child prodigy’s then-inability to keep quiet. Imagine!

Thereafter, Annabel’s involvement in the game has exclusively involved tournament Kid’s Days (Washington, Newport, CitiOpen), annual pilgrimages to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Wii Grand Slam play and on-court Quikstart instruction. She even took a lesson from Sebastien Decoud last summer.

Though she’ll only be contributing on a part-time basis, you can expect full-court coverage from this li’l Jimmy Olsen. Her first product review will appear on the site tomorrow.

Semi-Annual Very Serious Editorial: A Tennis Fan’s Gripes about being Groped by Groupon

At least one of the Williams Sisters has been Groped by Groupon, too

We all love a bargain. The web deal provider, Groupon, has been a useful resource for cheap weekend tennis times, clinics and even discount passes to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI. But it’s also become a good place to get highly-discounted tickets to pro tennis tournaments, too. And believe it or not, that can be frustrating for fans.

Some die-hards buy tickets to a tournament which they plan to attend months ahead of the event. The advantages for this are obvious: you expect that you will get better seats by purchasing in advance. In fact, sometimes, the USTA offers an “exclusive” presale for USTA members only. So you pay full price three or more months in advance, hoping that there’s no family or work emergency that will make you have to cancel your plans. Let’s say you paid $225.00 each for your tickets. That is the price for the Tier 1 seats at the Fed Cup tie in Worcester, Massachusetts this weekend.  Then, a week before the event, you get the following email in your inbox.

2012 Fed Cup Tennis–60% off

Talk about sticker shock. It’s like, yikes! You just over-paid by $135.00 per ticket! And it’s not just Fed Cup. Over the past year, you could have ‘grouponed’ Delray Beach for 48% off, Cincinnati and the CitiOpen at 1/2 price, or the HSBC Tennis Cup at 42% of face value. The ‘groupon phenomenon’ isn’t limited to the US, either. You could have paid 40 cents on the looney to catch Roger’s Cup action in Toronto, and 48p to the pound to see the Aegon Classic in Birmingham.

You paid HOW MUCH to watch these old-timers?

What’s a fan to do? Well, unless it’s a tournament that always sells out in advance, the fan should wait for the bargain.

Groupon marketing for tennis events offered months after the general public has paid full-price doesn’t sit right with this fan. Then, what’s the promoter to do? Simply eating the unsold tickets isn’t an option. Everyone would rather have more fans in the stands watching world-class tennis.

Let’s look to the National Football League for an answer. The management of the Cincinnati Bengals were worried about a television blackout and needed to sell out Paul Brown Stadium before a final home game last December. Of course, selling all the available seats wasn’t just about making sure the game was televised locally. The Bengals would advance to the playoffs with a win, and they wanted to fill the stands with Cincinnati fans to support the team and show off a raucous crowd on national television as well.

Even the Bungles get it right once in a while!

The Bengals sold over twenty thousand tickets in a single day. How?  They made a “groupon”-style offer strictly to fans who already had tickets to the game, namely, season ticket holders. For those committed fans, the Bengals offered a buy one, get one free deal to bring friends and family to the game. It made the season ticket holders feel special and it worked.

In the instant case of the Fed Cup tie in Worcester, perhaps the USTA could have sent an email to those who bought during the USTA member October presale informing them of an exclusive chance to buy extra tickets at half off. That move would endear and reward the loyal while filling the DCU Center.

So, yeah, we all love a bargain. Unless we ultimately end up feeling like a chump when we see what somebody else paid for the same thing. Tennis tickets shouldn’t be like airline tickets, where every single person on the plane paid a different price for the same seats.

If only they could somehow Groupon the US Open itself. Preferably in April and not September, please.

–Steve Fogleman