All you Happy Slammers are aware of the incident that took place at the Rogers Cup in Montreal last week and, while we don’t want to ignore it, we also don’t want it to overshadow the variety of delight the tournament provided. So this is dedicated to the players and moments in both Montreal and Toronto that put smiles on our faces.
Serena Williams and Andrea Petkovic’s handshake
Ah Serena and Andrea, oh how your post-match handshake was enough to light up any court. The positivity… the genuine amiability… and all after a dominating match. Andrea, confronted by nine aces and 28 winners and an opponent who’s a challenge to overcome, you could have cried. But instead, once match point was won, you walked towards the net and congratulated her with a grin on your face. Both of you seemingly laughed off the meeting and, in doing so, highlighted the beauty of sport.
When in action, it’s a battle with both players striving to beat the other down- Not vocally or personally but figuratively in terms of winning. There’s nothing else in their vision except their opponent and the present moment, until it’s over and the competitiveness is zipped up with the rackets.
Your smiles, Andrea and Serena, were infectious. Isn’t friendship a wonderful thing?
Ernests Gulbis winning
Who is this Ernests Gulbis? Yes, Ernie, your run to the quarter finals was like that of a different player. To quote HST Megan: “I was blown away when you actually qualified. In the season you’ve been having, it was so wildly out of place. I think you’ve really found your game again, playing like 2014 Gulbis, which was honestly kind of magical. And the stats! 70% first serves in, 8 aces, 0 double faults, 90% win rate for the serve points and 100% on the second serve. This is god stat not the Ernie Gulbis that I know. But I can definitely sense we will be seeing more of you this year. This is just what you needed to get your mojo back”
Hey Belinda, even before reaching the final you had achieved a lot. Your mentality, for an eighteen year old, is to be admired. When you spoke of how “the truth is on the court and not in the rankings or in the media or the popularity” [round 3 press conference] we joyfully applauded your maturity. The truth is, if going by you on court, you have the perfect balance between physical and mental control. It’s because of this that you successfully knocked out three established players (Bouchard, Wozniacki and Ivanovic) and then Serena, making you the youngest person to defeat her since Maria Sharapova in 2004.
The final ended in an unfortunate manner with Simona Halep retiring (Sending #positivefeelings your way, Simona!) but it had been exciting to watch. You’ve been exciting to watch. Congratulations on your Rogers Cup Toronto title!
That shot by Kei Nishikori
Thank you, Kei. Thank you for reassuring the amateur players out there that making a silly mistake is nothing to be ashamed of. Everybody does them, even the top ten in the world, and that’s totally ok.
It’s not often that the top players compete in both singles and doubles but, this year in Montreal, it was full of just that. Andy Murray, alongside Leander Paes, played his brother in the 2nd round (Jamie Murray and John Peers won 6-4, 7-6(9)), Novak Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic made it to the semi finals where they lost in three to Nestor and Roger-Vasselin and Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco reached the quarter finals where they lost to eventual champions, the Bryan brothers.
What made you happy last week?
Written by Frankie