Monday, 12 August 2013

WTA Toronto, ATP Montreal 2013: That's a wrap

It is my intention to trial a new feature to Moo's Tennis Blog, which will be a summary blog for the conclusion of the major tournaments on tour.  I will be doing it at select events (notably when I have some free time!) and if it proves popular, I will try to develop it further and make it a permanent feature for the 2014 season.  Enjoy...

The Champions:
Serena Williams: It was another unsurprisingly dominant week on the tour for Serena Williams as she defeated Sorana Cirstea in a one sided finale, 6-2 6-0 in just 65 minutes.  In fact, she has only lost 1 of her last 45 matches with the only blot on her copybook being that loss to Sabine Lisicki at Wimbledon.  Without doubt, she will be the favourite for the US Open.

Toronto Champion, Serena Williams

Rafael Nadal: As they did during the Masters events on the clay, Nadal joins Serena on the podium with another sensational week to maintain an unbeaten record on hard courts in 2013.  Nadal beat Milos Raonic, 6-2 6-2 and was never troubled in the final as he broke the huge Canadian's serve on 4 separate occasions.  He picked up a massive win over Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, his first away from the clay since the 2010 World Tour Finals, coming through in a third set tiebreak.

Montreal Champion, Rafael Nadal

A good week for...
Sorana Cirstea
Sorana Cirstea: The emergence of Cirstea as a relevant threat to the top names in Canada was a pleasant surprise.  It did all rather come crashing down in the final, but she should not let that overshadow what was the best week of her tennis career so far.  I also warmed to her as a person and she gave a delightful speech whilst trying desperately to not cry her eyes out.  Only time will tell whether this was just a flash in the pan or if Cirstea is set to begin her assault on the big time.  I anticipate it will be somewhere in between as I felt this week she showed signs of finding a balance between the winners and errors, and dare I say, developing a middle game.

Vasek Pospisil: After watching Pospisil at the US Open several years ago, I thought he was going to go on a tear up the rankings, but his progression has been rather slow up till now.  The biggest win of his career over Tomas Berdych in the 3rd round was mightily impressive and he will now break the top 40 in the world rankings.  I hope he can build on it next week because he has a very winnable match against Gilles Simon, who hasn't won for nearly two months.

A bad week for...
Janko Tipsarevic
Angelique Kerber: The German world number 8 suffered another heartbreaking loss as she went down to Dominika Cibulkova in the second round.  At this rate, Kerber will be out of the top 10 and even top 20 pretty soon.  Last year, with a new found confidence, she really went for her shots and produced some staggering tennis with wins over Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova.  In 2013, she has reversed into a much more defensive player and has managed just one top 15 win over Maria Kirilenko in Monterrey.  I also think she can get way more out of her serve if she bent her knees! 

Jelena Jankovic: JJ made the 3rd round this week which is not so bad, but there was a great opening in her section, which was snapped up by Cirstea.  She was excellent on the clay and particularly at Roland Garros, but since Wimbledon her form has slipped significantly.  Both her wins over Anna Tatishvili and Sharon Fichman sounded like trials and a player of her quality should be comfortably winning those kind of matches.

Janko Tipsarevic:   Sitting high and pretty on the disappointments list is Janko Tipsarevic, who fell in the first round to Denis Istomin.  He has now compiled a 7-15 W-L record since Australia and has not reached a semi-final since winning a title in the first week of the season in Chennai.  He posted on Twitter that "he had lost only one practice match since Madrid".  Oh...

Andy Murray and David Ferrer: As a number of players made their first venture on the tour since Wimbledon, there was bound to be some rusty performances.  David Ferrer suffered a shock second round exit to Alex Bogomolov and Andy Murray was lacklustre as well in limping out to Ernests Gulbis in the third round, but I am confident both will do much better in Cincy.

The Talking Points:
Raonic touching the net: The  biggest talking point of the week came in the 3rd round match between Milos Raonic and Juan Martin del Potro where Raonic touched the net with his foot, but still won the point after the umpire, Lahyani failed to recognise Raonic's faux pas.  Personally, I cannot understand how a player can essentially cheat and not own up to such an error; not only did this point have huge consequences for the rest of the match, but he also managed to make things even worse for himself in the press conference.

Beyond the Baseline did a pretty neat recap of the situation HERE.  Although it was a good week for Raonic, this incident along with lengthy MTO's and toilet breaks, meant he certainly went down in my estimations.

A video of the Raonic incident

Sara Errani and Alize Cornet: There were a few interesting incidents on the ladies side, most notably a little spat between Alize Cornet and Sara Errani, where Errani apparently took offense to Cornet shouting out "vamos".  I don't quite understand this because "vamos" is Spanish and how can Errani seem to think she owns a word?! This was covered by Matt Cronin on HERE.

Underarm serving: There were two incidents of underarm serving  hitting the news this week as first Ernests Gulbis and then Tomas Berdych, served points underarm.  Gulbis apparently won the point when he did it in his untelevised match against Fabio Fognini after being given a time violation.  Berdych's was covered well by The Changeover HERE.

ATP Exhibitions in Toronto: I still cannot understand why an exhibition in Toronto between two first round losers in Montreal, Bernard Tomic and Feliciano Lopez was given a night billing on Thursday night when surely, another third round womens match could have been played on stadium court.  It would have made sense if similar exhibitions had taken place in Montreal, but it showed a general lack of respect for the women, who were also consistently omitted from the stadium court's schedule in Washington last week.

Best matches of the week:
Cibulkova d. Kerber, 6-7(0) 6-2 7-5 (R2): On the ladies side, I really enjoyed the second round match between Dominika Cibulkova and Angelique Kerber, which had constant changes in momentum paving the way for an exciting contest.  Particularly going in it's favour was how the quality improved right up to the the end where Cibulkova hit some fearless winners in a tense, but gripping conclusion.

Nadal d. Janowicz, 7-6(6) 6-4 (R3): I did not watch as much ATP tennis this week as I would have liked and I think Nadal-Djokovic may have topped my list had it not started at 1am in the UK.  However with the tennis I saw, I enjoyed the match between Rafael Nadal against Jerzy Janowicz, which was good fun, particularly the first set tiebreak where Nadal produced a touch of genius to claim the first set.

Full highlights from Cibulkova-Kerber if you have three hours to kill

Highlights from Nadal-Janowicz

Moo's Predictions:
Champions: I correctly predicted Serena would win Toronto, but only had Nadal to the semi-finals in Montreal.
Quarter-Finalists: It was a solid week in the womens where I predicted 5 out of 8, but in a crazy week of shocks, I was just 3 out of 8 for the men.
Best prediction of the week: I was most pleased with calling Cibulkova to beat Kerber and then Paire to beat Wawrinka.  I also had Paire to the quarters, which nearly came off, but he fell in an epic match with Marinko Matosevic.

Did you enjoy Toronto / Montreal this year? Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section.


  1. Yeah, I liked this article, you should definitely keep doing these.

    I think that what Milos did, was absolutely wrong and he should've given the point to DelPo. But he's still young and made a mistake. I don't like that now some people are marking him as a cheater for the rest of his career. He just did a mistake he should've not done in the heat of the moment. But I think that the umpire Lahyani screwed up badly. It's not like if Lahyani would've said that it's DelPo's point that Raonic would've desigree with him.

  2. Cheers... you make a very fair point about Raonic. I didn't like what he did, but he is young and people make mistakes.