August 21, 2007
On Sunday, Pauline and I had our annual visit to the Rogers Cup (2006, 2005). This year it was the Womens’ again and we had tickets to the Singles and Doubles final. I had bought seats awhile ago, and based on previous experience picked seats that faced east because it sucks facing west when the sun is going down in the evening. Of course, I screwed up because I assumed that the finals would be at night when in fact they were during the day.
The Doubles final was first, and started at 11:30. Good thing too, because the tickets said 11 and were half an hour late. We got in right as they finished warm up and immediately before play. I didn’t know any of the players, although the top two seeds played. I think this was the first time I’ve seen doubles live and it seemed like there was some pretty sloppy play. Black and Huber lost the first set 6-4 and were were up 5-2 in the second set when we decided to leave for a bit and get back in time for the end of the third set. We received these Rogers’ advertisements that we had to get scanned by 2PM in order to enter the draws. These advertisements were clever because they looked like backstage passes, so everyone was wearing them to be cool. We also got some of the usual freebies (yogurt, shavers, wrist sweat bands, mouse pads) and Pauline played some of the sponsored tennis games. By the time we were done our rounds, we noticed that everyone was leaving. It turns out that Srebotnik and Sugiyama had already won the double titles! How did they finish so quick? apparently there is no third set in doubles play, they just play a race-to-10 tiebreaker. Oh well.
After some concessions for lunch, we headed back in for the Singles finals between Justine Henin (no longer Henin-Hardenne as of 2007 says Wikipedia) and Jelena Jankovic, the first and third ranked players in the world. This match was much more entertaining than the doubles, because there were fewer unforced errors and several long rallies. But because this was the prime event, there were also more problems. First, there was a noisy biplane that kept circling the stadium during the first set, the PA said that it was taking pictures; what is this, a football game? Next, there was a very rowdy Serbian following, mainly in the 300s, that supported Jankovic. There was one fan that would “call” all of the close calls against Henin until the crowd and the referee told him to be quiet. Next, there was what devolved into a cheering war between the numerous Jankovic fans, the few Henin supporters, and the rest of the crowd. The Jankovic fans would yell some random Serbian cheers, and then the Henin supporters would yell Allez Justine and then everyone else would yell Shhh. It was like a baseball game before each serve, except the referee kept reminding us it wasn’t. This was at the worst in the second match when it was tied 5-5 with Henin serving; they were stuck at deuce for half an hour and during every serve the Jankovic would cheer to disrupt Henin’s concentration. Of course, these cheers disappeared when Jankovic served and lost the deciding game. I wanted Henin to win just to spite the Jankovic supporters, and maybe Jankovic did too because she was notably frustrated and tossing her racket.
After receiving her trophy, Henin was asked to walk around the court for photos as advertised in the promotional material. It wasn’t really walking around, but I got a few photos. After that, we went to the AMEX tent to get our free Haagen Dazs and drinks before leaving. As we were driving along Keele though, we were stopped for awhile as a herd of geese decided that now was a good time to cross the road.