Djokovic Hits Top Gear to Win Rogers Cup
Novak Djokovic won his second consecutive Rogers Cup in dominant fashion on Sunday, steamrolling Frenchman Richard Gasquet in 61 minutes 6–3, 6–2 at York University in Toronto.
With Prime Minister Stephen Harper in attendance, Djokovic showed why he finished 2011 as the top-ranked player on the planet. The Serbian star held serve 50 of 51 times in the tournament and won his third overall Rogers Cup.
The Rogers Cup is one of the most important warm-up tournaments for the U.S. Open, which begins the last week of August. It is part of the next most important level of tournaments after the grand slams.
The tournament typically draws a very high percentage of the top players in the world although since it was placed immediately after the Olympics, stars like Roger Federer and Serena Williams did not turn up in Toronto and Montreal respectively.
“It’s been a long week, tough week, especially for players coming from the Olympics,” Djokovic said in an interview with CBC after his victory.
Gasquet, a bronze medalist in doubles at the London Olympics, was somewhat of a surprise finalist. He lost in the 2006 final to Federer and was attempting to be the first Frenchman to win the tournament, which has been held since 1881.
“He’s one of the best talents we have in the game,” Djokovic said about Gasquet. “He deserves to be in the top 10 in the world.”
Gasquet, the 14th seed, actually had triple break point on Djokovic in the Serb’s opening service game, but it was the Serb who broke first to go up 5–3 in the first set.
In the high-quality match, Gasquet’s frustration started to show slightly in the second set as the tournament’s top seed Djokovic took control.
“It’s not a bad loss for me,” Gasquet said referring to who he was playing against in the final.
First North American Title
The rain, which had wreaked havoc with the tournament’s scheduling, forced the women’s final to Monday night at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal. The Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova defeated China’s Li Na in a long, unpredictable match 7–5, 2–6, 6–3.
The first set actually took one minute longer to complete than the entire Djokovic–Gasquet final.
The matchup between last year’s Wimbledon champion Kvitova and the 2011 French Open Champion Na featured a first set with five breaks of serve, a dominant second set by Na, and a third set where the champion put it all together.
“I’m very glad I finally played well,” Kvitova told CBC. “It’s a great preparation [for the U.S. Open]. I played good matches here.”
Kvitova came in as the fifth seed while Na was seeded 11th. Neither player had won a title this year.
The Rogers Cup was Kvitova’s first title in North America.
The tennis action continues in Cincinnati as the preparation for the U.S. Open heats up.
Follow Rahul on Twitter @RV_ETSports
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