Neena Channan is a journalist, photographer and correspondent for Jornal de Toronto at the Rogers Cup Toronto 2019
Rogers Cup presented by National Bank is the third oldest tennis tournament in the world. The oldest being Wimbledon and the US Open. Montreal and Toronto host the tournament with each taking turns hosting the men and women in alternate years.
This year, Jornal de Toronto is on site at the AVIVA Centre in Toronto, where the women are playing from August 3-11, 2019.
All the big name stars are in town… Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki etc.
Canada is well represented by Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, Ontario), Eugenie Bouchard (Westmount, Quebec) and Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, Quebec) as part of the draw.
There are three ways a player can enter a tournament. They can qualify, receive a wild card or have a direct entry.
- Qualify means that a player has to play 1 or more matches/rounds in a tournament to earn a spot in the main draw. Qualifying rounds took place on August 3-4.
- Wildcard means that a player’s ranking didn’t automatically qualify them for the main draw, but they were awarded a spot based on the discretion of the tournament director. This year the wild card spots were awarded to Eugenie Bouchard and Leylah Annie Fernandez
- Direct Entry means that a player is automatically qualified based on their ranking as of approximately 2-3 weeks prior to the start of the tournament.
The first two days of the tournament were the qualifiers and though there were many Canadians entered, none were successful in moving on to the next round.
Qualifying weekend (Aug. 3-4) was a fun filled family event as thanks to support from the 407ETR, these two days gave free admission to Rogers Cup. In addition to tennis matches being played, there were family friendly activities such as meet and greets with Kids TV mascots from Paw Patrol, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, an autograph session with Trish Stratus of the WWE, face painting and balloon artists to name a few.
The tournament’s main draw matches started on Monday (August 5) with some big name stars ending up being defeated. Players such as Maria Sharapova who was defeated by Annett Kontaveit (Estonia), Angelique Kerber (Germany) defeated by Daria Kasatkina (Russia) and unfortunately for Canada, Leylah Annie Fernandez was also defeated by Marie Bouzkova (Czech Republic).
On Tuesday (Aug. 6), Venus Williams (USA) was defeated by Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) and the biggest upset of the tournament so far, Ashleigh Barty (Australia) who is ranked 1st was defeated by 29th ranked Sofia Kenin (USA). On this day the big game put Canada vs Canada in the form of Eugenie Bouchard vs Bianca Andreescu. The stadium was full and the spectators were very obviously excited to see these two ladies play. In the end, Bianca Andreescu won a hard fought battle against Eugenie Bouchard with a score of 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Next up on Wednesday (Aug. 7) will be matches featuring Serena Williams (USA), Simona Halep (Romania), Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark), Naomi Osaka (Japan), Bianca Andreescu (Canada) amongst others.
Matches will be played everyday with the semi-finals taking place on Saturday (August 10) and the final on Sunday (August 11).
For further information and tickets, check www.RogersCup.com