Rogers Cup Montreal 2018 – The Rogers Cup Montreal 2018 is nearing completion and the WTA women have been putting on quite a showing. Even with star Serena Williams pulling out of the competition, following a bitter defeat at Wimbledon to Angelique Kerber just prior to the Canadian leg of competition. It has also been a rough week for the Canadian contingent, with just Francoise Abanda surviving into the second round before succumbing to a worthy and top ranked Sloane Stephens.
Rain delayed the start of the opening Saturday session substantially and forced the rescheduling of matches into dusk, but couldn’t prevent he faithful from enjoying high quality matches on the day. The rain would continue to cause havoc at the tournament throughout the week, but the skies seem clear and the temperature cooler for the final weekend’s matches.
Abanda may have been the most successful Canadian in Montreal, but another Montreal native earned the admiration of the crowd and city in the early going of the tournament. At just 15 years old, Leylah Fernandez put on a show Saturday, earning a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Alicja Rosolska, and a match-up against Great Britain’s Katie Boulter late Sunday. As the sun began to descend over Montreal’s Stade IGA, Fernandez stormed to a dominant first set victory. The second was a well battled affair that went to the Britton, tying the match at a set each. Fernandez stumbled into the third set and fell behind before mounting a fantastic comeback attempt that had the capacity crowd on court five chanting her name and yelling words of encouragement to the disdain of the umpire.
Ultimately, she would come up just short as Boulter resisted and found the final tally in her to complete the defeat of the young Canadian, seven years her junior. It was a thrilling contest, and both athletes were impressive throughout. For Fernandez it will serve as a learning experience and has put her name on the tongues of the cities tennis afficuanados. Boulter left the court with a fist pump and a smile, knowing that she had won a hard fought battle (2-6, 6-3, 6-3 ). For both Fernandez and Boulter – the future seems quite bright.
When asked about the raucous support for the fully filled bleachers at a post-match press conference, Fernandez said “They were amazing in cheering me on for every point”, adding ìI wish I could have gotten the win for themì. Although the victory wasnít in the cards, the level of maturity shown by the budding tennis phenom in her person and on the court will surely result in good things down the line, and when she returns to compete here on home soil, the local faithful will have remembered her name.
Action continues and will do so until its conclusion Sunday. Meanwhile, the men are competing in Toronto which will also meet its climax this weekend. A lot of great tennis remains.
Feature image: Rogers Cup 2018 Montreal Sofya Zhuk By Kieron Yates Montreal Times