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Rogers Cup, Monday August 19, 2009

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We were back at the Rogers Cup for the first day of main draw play on Monday. We didn’t get there until about 12:30 p.m., so the first matches of the day were over, and the first Canadian (Stephanie Dubois) had already lost in straight sets. The next match on centre court wasn’t due on until 1:00, so we went to the grandstand to watch Sam Stosur and Canadian qualifier Heidi El Tabakh. The very pretty and curvaceous El Tabakh, who was born in Egypt, had gotten a wild card into qualifying and defeated Sania Mirza to make the main draw. Stosur was not impressive; she seemed to have a very low first serve percentage, and wasn’t really booming them when they were in. She did bounce one serve right up over El Tabakh’s head. El Tabakh had a good but inconsistent forehand, but her serve was not a weapon. Nevertheless, she took great confidence from pushing a top 20 player to two tie-breaks. During the first set, tour umpire Khadr Nouni sat a couple seats away from us—I’m not sure, is he from Egypt also?

Sam Stosur

Heidi El Tabakh

When we left the grandstand, Elena Dementieva was working on her serve on the practice court next door. She was working on serving wide, hitting pretty much every one just inside the line.

Elena Dementieva

We headed back toward the main stadium, passing Caroline Wozniacki practising on one of the back practice courts.

Caroline Wozniacki

At the main stadium, we just caught the last few games of a match between Amelie Mauresmo and Fran Schiavone. We knew that Kim Clijsters was scheduled to be on the practice court shortly, so we headed back to the main practice courts. As I came down the stairs from the stadium, a woman with curly blonde hair walked through a small enclosed patio just below me. “That looks like Kim”, I thought. When I got to the bottom of the stairs, she crossed right in front of me carrying a racquet bag. “Nah, she’s not that big”, I thought. I pointed her out to my wife, who assured me it was her. I hadn’t realized how broad-shouldered she was before, and the loose great t-shirt she was wearing probably made her look even bigger. When we got to the practice courts, Dominika Cibulkova was finishing up another practice session (the third we’d seen in two days there—she’s a glutton for punishment) on the front court, and Kim was coming through a back entrance to take her place. I could probably have gotten a picture with her, but my photographer (my wife, who took all these photos) didn’t follow me to the court exit, but stayed taking pictures of Kim. After a few minutes, Kim’s daughter came onto the court, tiptoeing all the way across in her Crocs. For some reason, the auto-focus on the camera didn’t seem to work during this time, so these photos are fairly blurry.

Kim Clijsters and family

I don’t know if other tournaments have this (I’d never seen it here before), but they have a whiteboard where they put up the schedule for the practice courts:

As you can see, Martina Navratilova was playing some “pro-am doubles” on one of the side practice courts. I don’t know if these were people who paid (for charity) to play with her, or won a contest. Martina was joking a lot during the match, but she had some good rallies with some of the guys. It must have been the thrill of a lifetime to play a set with her. My wife had gotten herself a spot standing right behind her chair, so she got a great photo, and an autograph on her hat.

The “lege”, Martina Navratilova

We went to one of the side courts to catch a bit of a match between Patti Schnyder and TAT favourite Annabel Medina Garrigues.

Patty Schnyder

Annabel Medina Garrigues

As we left that match, my wife told me to head over to the nearby practice court. Wozniacki had just left the court (her second practice session of the day), so I hurried over and she stopped to have a picture taken with me. I’m so smitten!

It was now early evening, but I wanted to see a doubles match between a couple of Canadians and the Russian babe team (Kirilenko and Vesnina). Rebecca Marino is huge!! She towered over her partner, Stephanie Dubois. She was over a head taller than Dubois, it was almost comical to see them when they strategized before each point. Unfortunately, the battery on our camera had died by this point, so we couldn’t get any pictures.

We had a couple of great days court-hopping. It’s too bad we don’t have a better camera to record things. I’ll post a lot more pictures into a gallery shortly.

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  1. patrick's Avatar
    Thanks for the report. Glad you had a good time.
  2. GVGirl's Avatar
    Martini! you must have aserious collection of photos with players!
  3. Martini4me's Avatar
    Nah, GVG, just those two. I'm just a piker compared to Moose.