Setting the record for the most attended female sporting event in a single week is an accomplishment that the Coupe Rogers shares with no one; with almost 200,000 fans in attendance, it is a feat that shouldn’t be overlooked. The Montreal version of the Canadian Masters is often regarded the as the fan favored event from the on in Toronto at the Rexall Center and it showed throughout the week.
Fans came out in droves to watch the likes of the Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova, and Victoria Azarenka, all which have been #1 in the world and have won multiple grand slams. But one can’t forget the likes of Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska or Jelena Jankovic of Serbia who just so happens to be a former champion at the Coupe Rogers. And we can’t forget about Canada’s own Eugenie Bouchard; she’s brought so much notoriety to tennis in Canada by reaching the semifinals in Australia and Paria along with an amazing run to the finals of Wimbledon. Fans were also treated to see the formerly retired Swiss Miss Martina Hingis in doubles; the tennis legend returned to the spotlight when she stormed to the title in Key Biscayne earlier this year. So from the looks of things, the city of Montreal would be in for some wonderful tennis, and that they were.
Watching a 34 year old Venus Williams duke it out with these young ladies is truly inspirational; she battled her way into the finals with four three set victories, one of which was against her top ranked sister Serena. And how amazing was that for the crowd at the Coupe Rogers? To not get Serena to play there in 14 years and to never get Venus there in her two decade long career, and when you finally get them both to show up, they collide in the semis in a tremendous match. It was a three set duel that could probably be considered their best match against each other; it was only their second time playing each other in five years and with the way the match went and the quality of it, the wait was totally worth it. Venus would, as Serena stated after the match, teach her younger sister a lesson and make her third final of 2014.
Radwanska would dazzle the crowd all throughout the week with her court craft and impeccable court coverage; making very few mistakes, she would find herself in the final against a spirited Venus. Although the final was an anti-climactic for the amazing week, it shouldn’t go without saying how wonderfully Radwanska played; she was completely perfect in subduing Venus at the final hurdle and she deserves all the congratulations. It was her first title of 2014 and it was well deserved.
Next year, the Canadian Masters does it yearly switch and the women will head to the Rexall Center in Toronto while the men will strut their stuff at Stade Uniprix in Montreal. It can’t go without notice how lucky Canada was to have been treated to such great tennis, not just Montreal; Roger Federer made an exciting push in Toronto as he lost in the finals to Joe-Wilfred Tsonga.
Things are on the up for Canada and I’m sure the great nation of the maple leaf can sit back and smile as the tennis world shifts to Cincinnati.