With Coupe Rogers Montreal Postponed For 2020, What’s The Outlook For Toronto?

WASHINGTON, April 14, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

With last Saturday’s postponement of the Coupe Rogers, a WTA Premier 5 event scheduled August 7-16 in Montreal, Tennis Canada now faces a “severe” challenge, writes TSN SportsCentre reporter Mark Masters. The move came due to the Quebec government calling for all festivals and public sporting and cultural events in the province to be cancelled through August 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s a very sad day,” said Tennis Canada president and CEO Michael Downey, as quoted by Masters. “Our Montreal tournament is one of the bet in the world and annually entertains and delights more than 200,000 fans. We would’ve seen Bianca (Andreescu) return as the defending champion and we’ve never had that in our (recent) history. So, it’s really, really sad, but we fully understand why. The health and well being of Canadians has to be front and center at this time.” 

So, with Montreal postponed until 2021, what’s the outlook for the ATP Masters 1000 scheduled for the same week in Toronto? According to Downey, “To be frank, we’re at risk there too.

“We’ve always thought we would be, because just at a time of year that’s very difficult especially when you’re talking about the success of these tournaments. You have 20,000, 25,000 people on site and that’s difficult when the governments are talking about social distancing. We also know that no one really knows what lies in the future with respect to this virus.”

The Coupe Rogers events generate more than $10 million or 94 percent of funding for Canadian tennis development.

What a difference a year makes

This week should have been the opening week of the ATP spring clay-court season, with the Masters 1000 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters at the Monte Carlo Country Club in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France. The tournament celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006 and it is the first of three ATP Masters 1000 tournaments played on clay. Rafael Nadal has lifted the trophy at the event 11 times, including an Open-Era record eight straight titles between 2005-2012.

Last year, thirteenth-seed Fabio Fognini defeated Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4 in the singles final.

Worth a good read

While Tennis Channel in the U.S. fills its Tennis Channel Live programs this week with Wimbledon highlights and looks back at the past five Wimbledon Championships – and, face it, many of us have time on our hands with no live tennis to watch – it is worth taking a few moments to read about Wimbledon, too, starting with a look back at “Novak Djokovic, A Spoiler, and a Champion at Wimbledon,” penned by The New Yorker writer Louisa Thomas.

In her nicely-crafted essay, Thomas writes: “This is not a new story. For most of his career, Djokovic has been under appreciated, and he has been regarded as a kind of intruder. There are many reasons for this – some simple, some complex – but, when he beat Federer on Sunday, 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3), he showed yet again how well-suited he is to the role of spoiler, and, doing so, raised a few questions about what greatness even means. After all, for much of the match, Federer seemed to be the better player. But in the end that didn’t count for a thing.”

What they’re writing

“The path back from an injury usually triggers these terms: pain, rehab, return,” writes Joel Drucker in Tennis.com. “Clad in hospital gowns, hobbling on crutches, gingerly stepping onto the court, a grinning athletes steps back to health are often posted on social media, a medical flipbook of sorts. But as the recent journeys of popular Grand Slam champions Bianca Andreescu, Andy Murray and Juan Martín del Potro demonstrate, our current world situation warrants new words for recover and desired return: contemplation, perspective, empathy – with Zoom and FaceTime also in the mix.”

What they’re tweeting 

Simona Halep, Romania, ranked No. 2

Stan Wawrinka, Switzerland, ranked No. 17

Barbora Krejcikova, Czech Republic, ranked doubles No. 8

Stanford University Men’s Tennis