Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, ON) made history in becoming the first Canadian in 50 years to win a Rogers Cup presented by National Bank singles title. Not since Faye Urban’s title-winning run in 1969 had a Canadian lifted the trophy.
The 19-year-old was crowned champion following Serena Williams’ withdrawal in the first set of the final at Aviva Centre. Andreescu’s run to the title was laced with enthralling victories over the likes of fellow Canadian Eugenie Bouchard (4-6, 6-1, 6-4), Russia’s Daria Kasatkina (5-7, 6-2, 7-5), Kiki Bertens (No. 5) of the Netherlands (6-1, 6-7(7), 6-4), Karolina Pliskova (No. 3) of the Czech Republic (6-0, 2-6, 6-4) and the USA’s Sofia Kenin (6-4, 7-6(5)).
“I think it’s going to give a lot of other kids and just tennis in Canada a bigger push,” Andreescu said during her post-match press conference in the George Gross Media Centre. “So hopefully this win can definitely do that.”
Williams’ time in Toronto saw her defeat Belgium’s Elise Mertens, Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova, World No. 2 Naomi Osaka of Japan, and the Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova on her way to the final. Her retirement from Sunday’s match came after just four games with Andreescu up 3-1. An upper back injury ensured the 23-time Grand Slam champion was unable to continue on Centre Court.
“I love playing here. I love the crowd,” Williams said following her withdrawal. “I mean, it would have been a wonderful match regardless of the outcome. And I don’t want to get this far and not at least try. I think I would have really regretted not at least going out there and seeing maybe if a miracle happened.”
In doubles, Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova (No. 1) overcame Demi Schuurs and Anna-Lena Groenefeld (No. 3) 7-5, 6-0 to claim the Rogers Cup title. The Czech duo achieved the feat whilst dropping just a single set throughout the tournament.
“Yes, it’s really nice to have the title,” said Siniakova. “We had few finals and finally we could reach the title. So, it was really good week for us. I mean, it started pretty strange. We wanted to play, and we didn’t play the first match because our opponents were ill. But, I think we played good matches, and we are so happy that we won the title.”
(Feature photo: Jared Wickerham)