Archive for August, 2009
Sunday, August 30th, 2009
Peter Polansky of Thornhill, Ontario and Valerie Tetreault of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec have qualified for the main draw in men’s and women’s singles respectively at the 2009 U.S. Open after three grueling qualifying rounds that completed on Saturday.
Ranked a career-best No. 200 on the ATP World Tour, Polansky defeated No. 28-seed Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 6-3, 6-4 to earn the big ticket in a match that took place over two days due to rain. The Canadian knocked off ninth-seeded Michael Russell of the United States in the second round to achieve his best finish at the U.S. Open. Polansky qualified for the main draw in each of the previous two Grand Slam tournaments he competed in during the 2009 season (Australian Open, French Open). Places for the 16 qualifiers will be decided on Sunday. One of the vacancies could have Polansky face Igor Andreev of Russia in the opening round, which Polansky took to five sets at this year’s Australian Open.
Tetreault, who sits at a career-best No. 161 on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, has enjoyed a breakout 2009 season which has included three Challenger titles. She qualifies for her first Grand Slam main draw after a 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-5 win over No. 27 seed Angela Haynes of the United States on Saturday. Tetreatult defeated No. 14 seed Karolina Sprem of Croatia in the second round of qualifying.
Polansky will be the only Canadian in the men’s singles draw while Tetreault joins Stephanie Dubois (Laval, Quebec) and Aleksandra Wozniak (Blainville, Quebec) in the women’s singles draw. Dubois will face Kristina Mladenovic of France in the opening round while Wozniak plays American Laura Granville. Toronto-native Daniel Nestor and his partner Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia are currently the top-ranked doubles team on the ATP World Tour. The draw for men’s doubles at the U.S. Open will be made the week of August 31.
Saturday, August 15th, 2009
Tennis fans in the downtown core who are not up at Rexall Centre for main draw action on Monday, will want to come to the most popular intersection in Canada. Noon on August 17 will be the site something very cool. You won’t want to miss it. Bring your cameras. I’m hearing some rumbings about it. Yonge/Dundas.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
ROGERS CUP TORONTO WILDCARDS ANNOUNCED
Canadians Dubois and Tetreault join former No. 1 Kim Clijsters in main draw
Tennis Canada announced Wednesday the three wild card entries into the ladies singles main draw of Rogers Cup scheduled for August 15-23 at Rexall Centre in Toronto. Belgian Kim Clijsters, along with Canadians Stephanie Dubois and Valerie Tetreault will be among the 56 players competing in the third-oldest tournament behind only Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Additionally, qualifying wild cards and pre-qualifying entries have been determined.
“We are excited to add Kim, Stephanie and Valerie to the main draw of Rogers Cup,” said tournament director Karl Hale. “They will add excitement and high-level tennis to one of the best player fields in the world. Canadians have shown they belong on the world tennis stage.”
Clijsters, the 2005 Rogers Cup champion, has returned to tennis after a two-year absence following marriage and the birth of her first child. Clijsters was ranked No. 1 for 19 weeks on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and is one of only five women to hold the top spot for both singles and doubles simultaneously. Her first Tour match after retirement was a 6-4, 6-3 victory over world No. 13 Marion Bartoli in the first round at Cincinnati on Monday.
“So many things have changed. I got married, had a daughter, and that’s something that has a big impact on my life. It will change me as a player as well,” said Clijsters. “I’ve been practicing for seven months and I’m looking forward to my second career.
Dubois, 22, will be making her eighth appearance at Rogers Cup, having reached the third round twice, including in 2008 when she knocked off No. 13 seed Maria Kirilenko of Russia. Dubois, from Laval, Quebec, recently defeated former Top 30 player Sania Mirza in three sets to claim the 2009 Odlum Brown Vancouver Open. The second-ranked Canadian is currently listed at No. 104 on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.
Tetreault, 21, has enjoyed a solid start to her professional career. The native of Saint- Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec has claimed three ITF events this year including Grapevine and El Paso in Texas, along with Carson, California. Ranked No. 162 on Tour, Tetreault is making her sixth appearance at Rogers Cup, having competed in the past five qualifying draws.
Wildcards were also decided for the Rogers Cup qualifying tournament that takes place August 15-16 at Rexall Centre. The 48-player event will determine the remaining 12 places into the tournament main draw. Athletes granted qualifying wildcards include: Eugenie Bouchard (Westmount, Quebec), Mallory Cecil* (Spartanburg, South Carolina), Heidi El Tabakh (Burlington, Ontario), Sharon Fichman (Toronto) and Rebecca Marino (Vancouver). *Note: Cecil was granted a wildcard based on a trade between Tennis Canada and IMG.
In addition to the five qualifying wildcards, one player from the pre-qualifying tournament will earn an entry into the weekend qualifying event. Marie-Eve Pelletier (Repentigny, Quebec), Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa), Melanie Gloria (Montreal) and Sonja Molnar (Guelph, Ontario) will compete in a single-elimination tournament for the lone spot.
The official draw for Rogers Cup will take place atop the CN Tower with Hale and tennis star Maria Sharapova on Friday, August 14 at 6:15 p.m. Fans can tune in via webcast at www.rogerscup.com.
Tickets are available at www.rogerscup.com or by calling 1-877-2-TENNIS.
Sunday, August 2nd, 2009
Even Nelson will be impressed with the lineup The Rog and I have for Thursday’s edition of Aces. The show will start will the Comeback Kid, Kim Clijsters. The former world No. 1 will be competing in her first Tour event next week at Cincinnati before returning to Toronto for Rogers Cup, a tournament she won in 2005. Joining Kim on the show will be the most decorated tennis player, man or woman, ever. Yup, Martina Navratilova spend a little more than 10 minutes with us to talk about the current state of women’s tennis, children in sport, Monica Seles and a look back at her illustrious career. Lastly, Leigh Ellis, host of Topspin Radio (Mondays at 12:30 p.m. ET at www.topspinradio.com), will give us his thoughts on what we all can expect at the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in Montreal.
The first episode of Aces was the most-listened-to online program the Fan590 had that day (aside from his majesty Bobcat). So I hope you will all join Mr. Lajoie and I on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.
Sunday, August 2nd, 2009
STANFORD, CA, USA – In a Sunday afternoon shocker, Marion Bartoli won her fifth and biggest career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title at the Bank of the West Classic, upsetting Venus Williams in three sets in the final.
Bartoli, seeded No.8 at the Premier-level tournament, didn’t have it easy throughout the week, winning her opening rounds in tight two-setters then going to three sets in the quarters and semis, defeating No.4 seed Jelena Jankovic and Samantha Stosur, 36 76(3) 63 and 63 16 61, respectively. She even saved two match points against Jankovic, whilst trailing 63 65.
Williams, seeded No.2 and a two-time winner at Stanford in the past, was out of sorts through the first set and a half of the final, going behind 62 53 before kicking into gear with four straight games, pushing the duel to two hours and 43 minutes before finally succumbing, 62 57 64. It was just their second meeting on the Tour – their first came in the final of Wimbledon two years ago, with Williams prevailing routinely there, 64 61.
Bartoli’s first four singles titles on the Tour came at smaller events, at Auckland, Tokyo and Quebec City in 2006 and Monterrey earlier this season. She is now 5-5 lifetime in finals.
The biggest story of the week came on Friday, as Stosur, unseeded, took out Serena Williams, the No.1 seed and reigning US Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon champion. Stosur’s win over the world No.2 was her equal best career win, matching her victory over Dinara Safina this March.