What an unpredictable week it was for both the men and the women at the 2011 Rogers Cup presented by National Bank, as top seeds across the board were eliminated well before anyone expected. In fact, just two top-five players from the men’s and women’s fields made it through to the quarterfinals. From Rafael Nadal being knocked out in the second round by Ivan Dodig, to Caroline Wozniacki losing against Roberta Vinci in her first match, the tournament was full of upsets.
One of the week’s biggest surprises was the play of qualifier Galina Voskoboeva, who reached the quarterfinals after an unlikely run that saw her beat three higher-ranked players, including world no. 5 Maria Sharapova. But the real story in Toronto was the play of American Serena Williams, who bulldozed her competition en route to her second Rogers Cup title and her 39th career WTA singles title. Williams had the killer instinct that we’re used to seeing from her, and now has 11 straight match wins to go along with two tournament victories in just two weeks. Ranked no. 80 in the world going into the tournament, Williams was the underdog at the beginning of the week but showed that, with will and resolve, victory is possible.
On the flip side, the stellar play of the world’s top ranked male player, Novak Djokovic, was just what tennis fans expected. There’s simply no other current tennis player who’s as effortlessly commanding as Djokovic, and he proved it this past week by losing only one set the entire tournament. Not only did his win over Mardy Fish (6-2, 3-6, 6-4) in the final give him his ninth title this season, but it also made him a five-time ATP Masters series champ. With a record of 53-1 in 2011, Djokovic is proving that he is virtually unbeatable. And that’s something his opponents ought to fear heading into the U.S. Open.
With the 2011 Rogers Cup in the books, Canada’s week as the center of the tennis universe comes to an end — until next year.
Top Image: Novak Djokovic during the Rogers Cup final match in Montreal Sunday, August 14, 2011. (Image Via Central Image Agency)