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Qualifying Day at the Rogers Cup, 2009 Part I

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I went to the Rogers Cup qualifying with my family this past Saturday. It was fairly warm and mostly sunny--in fact, this is quite possibly the first nice (that is, not rainy and/or cool) weekend in Toronto this summer. Hereís a not too brief rundown of who/what we saw.

They actually started playing qualifying matches at 10:00, but we didn't get there until just before noon. The first match on the main stadium was between Canadian Rebecca Marino and German Kristina Barrois. Barrois was up 5-4, 30-all in the third set when we got there, and it was about 16 points (most of them first serve faults, and several of them saved break points) before Barrois won the game and match. Too bad, I was hoping to see Marino play a bit.

Rebecca Marino on main stadium court

We then headed off toward the "grandstand", but paused at the practice courts on route. There are four practice courts side-by-side in the middle of the complex, but there's only fan access to some bleachers at one end, so while there's great view of the near court, you can hardly recognize who's on the far end. Elena Vesnina and Patti Schnyder were practising on the near court.

There are also a couple of practice courts behind the commercial tents. These seemed to be used more by the most popular players, as there was more (standing only) room for large crowds of fans there. Mario Sharapova had the main one booked for a session at noon, and predictably drew a very large crowd.

At the grandstand, Maria Kirilenko was playing Tatjana Malek. Kirilenko was favouring one knee somewhat, but won in straight sets. There was a very pleasing variety to this match: hard topspin shots, slices, Makiri occasionally coming to net, points being crafted. Plus there was Maria Kirilenko to look at.

Maria Kirilenko

Tatjana Malek

Heading back to the practice courts, Ana Ivanovic was now on the feature court, rallying with a male player. While she was hitting, Dominika Cibulkova was doing exercises: first very slow jogging around the court, then lunges, some resistance work with a wide ribbon, and then agility drills along the baseline. First she would go down the line, nimbly side-stepping inside and outside the line. Then it became a reaction drill, as halfway down here trainer would clap his hands and she had to immediately sprint back to the corner. A bit later we saw her doing some running through a course of cones laid out one side of the court. One had to admire here for all the non-tennis work she did.

The very lovely Ana Ivanovic

Dominika Cibulkova in her lovely oh-so-short shorts (impressive thighs, too)

(to be continued)

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  1. Moose's Avatar
    Awesome. Thanks Martini. Outstanding photos -and particularly enjoyed the ones of the lovely Miss Ivanovic.

    BTW, where you as surprised as I was the first time you saw Patty Schnyder in person at what a small, slight woman she was? She is so petite, which didn't match the mental image I had of her.
  2. patrick's Avatar
    Good write up on the happenings and glad you enjoyed it.
  3. GVGirl's Avatar
    Thanks Martini! Enjoy the rest of the tournament. I love Toronto. Hope to be there next year.
  4. mmmm8's Avatar
    I'm going to miss Kirilenko in Stella McCartney...

    Thanks, M4M!