Toronto Rogers Cup

Thanks a lot to Simon for sharing his brother’s pictures from Toronto!

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeats Novak Djokovic 6-2 6-2

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Novak Djokovic

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

David Ferrer defeats Ivan Dodig 1-6 6-3 6-2

David Ferrer and Ivan Dodig

Ivan Dodig
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Novak Djokovic at practice, Cincinnati Open

Over the weekend, I’ve been learning just how close the courts are to each other. Many practice sessions take place at the same time as live matches, and it’s not uncommon to overhear the line calls for another match (or more) while anywhere (even on Grandstand or in the stadium). The concerts in the food court area take place at the same time as the matches, and that sometimes adds to the confusion: on Saturday, at the start of Townsend v. Riske, which was on Center Court, I at first assumed that a DJ was sleeping on the job when the chair umpire called out, “Thank you, music, thank you” — and, like the umpire, belatedly realized a minute or so later that we were hearing the performers from outside the arena, rather than a recording being piped through its system. (As Andy Murray noted during his Sunday afternoon press conference, however, players can adjust to noise if it’s a consistent presence — it’s sudden changes [such as people yelling out of turn] that they find disruptive.)

Center Court can at times seem quite close not only to the other courts, but to the rest of Mason. If one has binoculars on hand (or, in my case, the zoom lens on my camera), and is sitting in an upper row, it’s possible to sneak glimpses at the activity on other courts. During the Melzer vs. Hewitt match, I could discern part of the Court 3 scoreboard (Lepchenko v. Tatishvili), some of the players practicing on Courts 7 and 8, and a roller-coaster looping around its loops over at Kings Island:

kings island roller coaster

When I arrived at Lindner Family Tennis Center Sunday morning, around 10:45 a.m., I walked into a lesson on star power. There was scant interest in the players practicing on Court 16 …

sparse crowd for BoJo

… but the stands for Court 15 were already packed.

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By the time Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka entered the court (around 11:07 a.m.), fans were crowded along every available inch of the Grandstand’s top rail, standing on its back bleacher, and lined up along the rail of the vodka patio as well:

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(I felt rather sorry for Ebden and Tomic, the players actually competing on Grandstand, as there were arguably more people watching the practice than their match. The crowd eventually thinned out, as Novak and Stan practiced for two hours [with at least one shirt change for Stan], but the situation was problematic for the ushers — it was impossible for them to stop so many people from walking down and around during points and other non-changeover instances, though they gamely tried.)

By the time Tomic and Ebden shook hands, Court 16 had amassed a sizable audience as well. The fans at the top of Grandstand could alternate between watching Jelena Jankovic (also in at least two outfits) and Nole and Stan:

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At Cincy, a player such as Benoit Paire can slip into a match with little fuss (in this case, to watch Adrian Mannarino abuse his racquet in the course of beating Marcos Giron):

Benoit Paire and his partner

Later that day, he was practicing with Somdev Devvarman

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… adjacent to a court with onlookers all along its far fence:

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The fences see a fair amount of crowding. Saturday morning, I was delighted to see Kimiko Date-Krumm among the many players assigned to Court 11 ((that’s Heather Watson looking on, and I think it’s Barbora Zahlavova Strycova on her left):

Kimiko Date-Krumm

It can all easily get overwhelming, though. The Date-Krumm practice, for instance, was just a few feet away from the Ormaechea vs. Hercog match on Court 10. For a while, I couldn’t resist walking back and forth between the two:

Polona Hercog

Sometimes, though, it’s just smart to take a break:

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More reports from Cincinnati:
On the way to the Western & Southern Open
The Western & Southern Open main draw party
Friday evening at Lindner Family Tennis Center
Seeking relief from the heat

Cincinnati Open

Thanks a lot to Peg for sharing her experience from Cincinnati!

More reports from Cincinnati:
On the way to the Western & Southern Open
The Western & Southern Open main draw party
Friday evening at Lindner Family Tennis Center

It’s been in at least the high 80s (Fahrenheit) all weekend here in Mason. That’s cooler than where I’m from (Nashville), but it’s still plenty hot. Players such as Lleyton Hewitt were reaching for ice towels even around 6 p.m.:

seeking relief from the heat

Jurgen Melzer iced down his legs as well as head and neck (he was looking stiff toward the end of the match), and applied a bare bag directly to his head at one point:

seeking relief from the heat 

seeking relief from the heat

Earlier in the day, the umbrellas were out in evidence on Grandstand, especially around noon, during Tomic vs. Ebden. They were opened for the players during changeovers:

seeking relief from the heat

In the audience, I counted at least fifteen. Some were beat-up and basic, some were flowery, some were fashionable …

seeking relief from the heat

seeking relief from the heat

seeking relief from the heat

seeking relief from the heat

seeking relief from the heat

seeking relief from the heat

The crowd tended to cluster under overhangs and other shaded areas:

seeking relief from the heat

It was also a fine day for hat-admiring, both of serviceable and stylish chapeaux:

seeking relief from the heat

seeking relief from the heat

seeking relief from the heat

seeking relief from the heat

Sometimes, though, a mere cap needed help:

seeking relief from the heat

It was bright enough that today’s human statue wore shades:

seeking relief from the heat

The Grandstand umpires sit under a canopy. (Richard Haigh chaired the Ebden-Tomic match.)

seeking relief from the heat

I also overheard folks complaining about sunburn and reapplying sunblock. To help with the latter, the Andy Caress Melanoma Foundation has representatives handing out packets of SPF 30 sunscreen. These wonderful people were on duty near Court 16 (where loads of fans were waiting for the Djokovic-Wawrinka 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. practice to get underway):

seeking relief from the heat

Roger Federer’s road to the final

Roger Federer

Round Opponent Score
R1 BYE BYE
R2 Peter Polansky 6-2 6-0
R3 Marin Cilic 7-6 6-7 6-4
QF David Ferrer 6-3 4-6 6-3
SF Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-4
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s road to the final

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Round Opponent Score
R1 Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6 6-1
R2 Jérémy Chardy 7-6 6-4
R3 Novak Djokovic 6-2 6-2
QF Andy Murray 7-6 4-6 6-4
SF Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-3
Roger Federer – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga head to head: 11-4
Year Tournament Surface Winner Score
2008 Madrid R16 Hard Federer 6-4 6-1
2009 Montreal QF Hard Tsonga 7-6 1-6 7-6
2010 Australian Open SF Hard Federer 6-2 6-3 6-2
2011 Doha SF Hard Federer 6-3 7-6
2011 Rome R32 Clay Federer 6-4 6-2
2011 Wimbledon QF Grass Tsonga 3-6 6-7 6-4 6-4 6-4
2011 Montreal R16 Hard Tsonga 7-6 4-6 6-1
2011 US Open QF Hard Federer 6-4 6-3 6-3
2011 Bercy F Hard Federer 6-1 7-6
2011 London Tour Finals RR Hard Federer 6-2 2-6 6-4
2011 London Tour Finals F Hard Federer 6-3 6-7 6-3
2012 Doha SF Hard Tsonga W/O
2013 Australian Open QF Hard Federer 7-6 4-6 7-6 3-6 6-3
2013 Roland Garros QF Clay Tsonga 7-5 6-3 6-3
2014 Australian Open R16 Hard Federer 6-3 7-5 6-4
2014 Monte Carlo QF Clay Federer 2-6 7-6 6-1


Who will win between Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga? Please share your thoughts.

Roger Federer

Enjoy some pictures of Djokovic, Murray and Federer practicing in Toronto this week (photo credit: Marianne)

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic survived a second round scare versus the unpredictable Gael Monfils, winning 6-2 6-7(4) 7-6(2) in two hours and 41 minutes. But he was easily dispatched 6-2 6-2 by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga the next day.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray and Amélie Mauresmo

Tsonga followed his big win over Djokovic with a hard fought 3-sets victory over Andy Murray, who has confirmed his “long-term” plan to continue to work with his French coach Amélie Mauresmo.

“We’ve agreed to work together and I think from both sides we’re willing to do what it takes to make it work long-term”

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

Andy Murray and Amélie Mauresmo

Andy Murray and Amélie Mauresmo

Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg

Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will battle for the Rogers Cup title later today.

Below a few pictures of one of Federer and his coach Stefan Edberg hitting session:

Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg

Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

Stefan Edberg

Stefan Edberg

Edberg was officially elected into the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame on Monday. Here are some pictures of the press conference, you can also watch the entire video of the ceremony on STE fans website

Stefan Edberg

Stefan Edberg

Stefan Edberg

Cincinnati Open

Peg is covering the Western & Southern Open for Tennis Buzz. Enjoy her Friday evening recap (more to come!):

At the end of the stage presentation, the guests were directed to head outside toward the food court, where they could purchase drinks and listen to the SunBurners:

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At the champagne stand, customers who purchase a serving of Moet Imperial in a souvenir glass ($18) also receive a shiny tennis ball with a charm inside:

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There were other attractions beside the concert and the booze, though. Right outside the Grandstand tent, there was one of those human statues…

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….who later made his way closer to the beer:

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Other fans visited Grandstand — meandering around, sitting where they liked, and watching the children on the court:

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There were souvenirs for sale at the MidwestSports.com tent:

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I eventually headed toward Court 7…

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having seen this announcement:

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But wait. I know that player. That isn’t Mr. Falla, that’s Mr. Gulbis!

Ernests Gulbis

Ernests Gulbis

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On the other side of the court, Mr. Thiem:

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There were fans watching alone …

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… and with friends:

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(I owe these women thanks — not only did they help me identify Dominic Thiem, they were just great fun to chat with. You know you’re among kindred spirits when you’re reminiscing about tan lines from wicked hot tournaments [e.g., a couple of them attended Melbourne in January; I watched Isner-Anderson in Atlanta a few summers ago ]

And my evening in Mason ended with a last look at some of the 10,000 flowers planted by LaMond Design within the last week:

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The campus beautiful