The Rogers Cup lost some big names early, including hometown hero Eugenie Bouchard, but still was a great showcase of women’s tennis that broke the WTA’s Montreal attendance record.
Agnieszka Radwanska beat Venus Williams in the final (6-4, 6-2) to take home the championship yesterday, ending a great tournament for the veteran. Williams beat her sister Serena in a great display of tennis in the semi-final. It was the first time both Williams sisters played in Montreal.
Radwanska won her 14th title and her first Rogers Cup. Radwanska’s previous best result in Canada was two semi-final appearances.
Williams, 34, would have been the oldest Rogers Cup champion but it seemed the long week took its toll on her. She only recorded one ace in the match.
There was probably some concern surrounding the tournament when Bouchard lost her opening match in the second round, but most tickets were already sold and with both Williams sisters in Montreal for the first time, there was plenty of star power to help drive ticket sales. In all, 181,996 fans entered Stade Uniprix.
The attendance record is even more remarkable when you consider that the week suffered through a power outage on Tuesday as well as some rain delays. Surely, the walk up could have been even better had everything gone right.
There were some outsiders who couldn’t help but notice Montreal’s love for tennis.
It will be interesting to see how the wave of Canadian tennis holds up in future years. next year, the men return to Montreal an event that usually draws better than the women’s tour. The men’s record in Montreal is over 213,000 fans in 2011.
Eugenie Bouchard will look to bounce back from her quick exit in Montreal at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Bouchard is the No. 7 seed and, like in Montreal, the first eight seeds receive a bye.
Her first match will be against the winner of Italian Camila Giorgi and Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova. Other top seeds in her part of the draw include No. 2 Simona Halep, No. 3 Petra Kvitova and No. 5 Maria Sharapova.