Serena, Djokovic Eye Titles Sunday in Canada
by Staff | August 14th, 2011, 12:24 pm
  • 72 Comments

Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic are the heavy favorites to take home Canadian hardware this afternoon.

Serena, who won Stanford last month, has won 10 straight tennis matches and she’s seeking her 39th career title in this her 53rd final against Australian Samantha Stosur in the Toronto Rogers Cup.

“It was important for me to come in and take charge. I didn’t have anything to lose,” Williams said in her on-court interview after beating No. 4 ranked Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-3 yesterday. “It’s really cool – I came to Toronto just trying to do my best, next thing I know I’m in the final. I haven’t really played that much. I love the Toronto crowd. Maybe it’s something to do with them!

“I just kind of knew I was playing a really, really good player today and I basically had to step up my game or go to Cincinnati.”

Stosur, a former French Open finalist, trumped Aga Radwanka 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. But she has a losing 2-3 record against Serena.

“I’ve had some success against Serena, but we all know what she’s capable of,” said Stosur who is bidding for her 3rd career title. “She’s obviously one of the best players ever in women’s sport. She’s a great champion. And for her to have that lay-off and already win an event and do so well, it’s full credit to her.”

Added Serena on the match with Stosur, “The last time she played, she got the best of me. She definitely has an opportunity to take it all. She’s been playing well. This court suits her game. I have nothing to lose, and I’m happy to have gotten this far. If I take another title that would be great, if not, hey, there’s next week.”

In Montreal, Novak Djokovic eyes his ninth title of the season. Last night the Serb forced Jo-Wilfried Tsonga into submission when leading 6-4, 3-0 the Frenchman retired with a right arm injury.

“I have pain on my arm,” Tsonga said. “I’ve had this since three days. At the end, at 1 0, after that it was really difficult for me to hit the ball well and enough hard. That’s why I took this decision.”

Tsonga says he is still playing to play in Cincinnati, hopeful that a few days of rest will do his arm good. Tsonga was able to give the playbook on Djokovic.

“He plays incredible tennis, but he’s not an alien,” Tsonga said. “In fact, what he does is doing everything better than the others. He doesn’t hit harder, he doesn’t hit the ball earlier. But he’s always there. This is tiring when you play against him. He does not have the best return on the tour. But on every return, he returns well, and he’s always there. So what does it is his consistency, and he has no weaknesses.”

In the final Djokovic will play Mardy Fish who overmatched Janko Tisparevic in straight sets.

“It’s important when you play a player like Mardy to hold your composure, to be patient and wait, wait for the chance on his service games, try to have high percentage of the first serves and stay aggressive,” said Djokovic who is 6-0 lifetime against the American.

“I think these conditions, which are a bit faster, are quite suitable to his style of game. He’s been winning his matches quite comfortably. He’s been serving extremely well. But I think if I return well, as well as I did in the last two matches, I have a good chance.”

The 52-1 Djokovic is trying to become the first man to win a title in his No. 1 debut since Pete Sampras did in 1993 in Hong Kong.

Serena and Stosur are on at 1pm ET followed Djokovic at 3pm ET. Both matches will be televised live by ESPN2.


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72 Comments for Serena, Djokovic Eye Titles Sunday in Canada

Brando Says:

Nole will win easy! I was going to mention if the writer did not- they have- that nole is 6-0 against fish and in his present form fish has little chance of getting a set let alone the win.

I give fish about a 10% chance of the win- and that’s mainly because of the notion that you never know what can happen as opposed to any problems fish present djokovic with his game.


billyboy512 Says:

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


TMAK Says:

Easy Nole win. 6-1, 6-2. Nole is unreal right now…


Ben Pronin Says:

I just don’t get Tsonga’s comment. Surely Dokovic has at least the best backhand on tour right now. Gilbert went as far as saying it’s the best he’s ever seen. I know he loves to exaggerate but it’s pretty hard to argue that right now. Considering Tsonga was really going for it on second serves and only won 38% of those has to be an indication of Djokovic’s amazing return game.

This is like if Federer would say that Tsonga doesn’t serve that well he just hits really big serves all the time and is nearly impossible to break but it’s not special.


james Says:

I think a better final would be to have Serena play Novak. She is the only one who could give him a match right now and she is playing way above any of the other women.


Dory Says:

Fish’s surely improved by leaps and bounds, especially FH and less errors. He played well first 2 games and then couldn’t find his first serve! Djoko’s level rose spectacularly and he ran away with set 1!

Robbie Koenig and Jason Goodall are talking about how Djoko’s run has undoubtedly been the best EVER anyone has ever had in a seaosn.


Kimmi Says:

fish !!!


Dory Says:

Breathtaking shots by both in this match.


Dory Says:

O dear! Someone call a cat to eat the Fish.


Kimmi Says:

wow! novak is capitulated. havent seen him play with so many unforced errors for a loong time.


Ike Says:

lets win this match Mardy!


Ike Says:

I am Nole fan, but cant stop myself from rooting for Mardy. I hope this final set will be high quality set.


Ike Says:

I still think Nole will find a way to win this match though.


Kimmi Says:

duro – you probably jinx your man…sometimes you just have to wait till the last ball is hit before you give him the title.


Dory Says:

Fish’s pace not just on serve but on groundstrokes as well is really difficult to play but Novak will take it eventually!


Ike Says:

good hold Mardy!


Kimmi Says:

tough game for fish to get hold it.


kriket Says:

Amazing tennis by both at the 3rd set beginning. I’m a Novak fan but I also like Mardy. It’s good that Fish took the 2nd set and made this match interesting. I hope and believe Novak will eventually win.


Ike Says:

Kimmi,
If Mardy wins US Open, that will be a great American story!
I know not many people think that will happen, but that’s my wish, underdog beating all the favorites.


Ike Says:

Last year when Mardy was ranked about 20, I predicted that he will make it into top 10. People laughed, well… no one is laughing now! Well done Mardy! We are proud of you.


Kimmi Says:

he is playing well enough ike. so anything can happen..


Ike Says:

great serve and volley from Mardy. good serve. good hold.


Ike Says:

Kimmi,
i just love rooting for players like Ferrer, Fish. The classical underdogs!


Dory Says:

I am really nervous now. Because Fish’s serve is too strong to break.


Ike Says:

kimmi,
Mardy is serving first in this set, so Nole has to keep playing catch-up. Mardy is gotta play one great return game, and keep serving well, and title is his. But, I still think Nole will find a way to win this one.


Ike Says:

Dory,
was that you last year who called Mardy a perennial journeyman? can’t remember who it was.


Dory Says:

Now is a great time to break after a quick hold! C’mon Novak.


Ike Says:

if Nole loses this one, I won’t feel so bad / sad, as it’s not against Rafa or Roger.


Ike Says:

oh boy, Mardy is down 0-30, worries…


Dory Says:

I don’t remember either. I remember saying that Fish’s very up and down. Can’t remain in control of a long rally.


Ike Says:

oh well, it’s over for Mardy now.


Dory Says:

YES!!!! What a relief! But feeling sad for Fish. He’s played a great match.


Kimmi Says:

oooops…easy break.mardy gave that one away. can nole run with this now?


Ike Says:

yeah, Mardy’s FH is always kind of liability, thus can’t stay in long rallies.


kriket Says:

Novak simply appears too confident as he always manages to up the level of his game when he has to make up for his mistakes. The only time he didn’t manage to come back completely is when he lost to Fed at the FO. Even then he never gave up until the last point. That’s his best quality, as was Federer’s in his days.


Dory Says:

Djoker hasn’t tried to lob Fish at all in this match when Fish comes to the net.


Ben Pronin Says:

Fish has been doing a great job in the long rallies this year but he is playing Djokovic so…


Ben Pronin Says:

Meant to say this match.


Brando Says:

Well done fish, you took a set and fought well!

P.S.: Del Potro has set up the clash with fed!


Dory Says:

Good to see Fish not giving up either till the end.


Ike Says:

good run here Mardy, good luck in Cinci and USO, we will be in NYC rooting for you!


Kimmi Says:

well..one more game


Dory Says:

It’s been a high quality match.


Kimmi Says:

congratulations djokovic…

not best tennis but found a way to win!! that is what champions are for.

5 master series titles in a season, wow! i did not know this record…

Congratulatins


Dory Says:

9 titles so far this season! O MY!!!


Duro Says:

Congratulations, champ!

A record set for generations to come.


Kimmi Says:

Congrats to serena too.

Unfortunately my friend had only ground pass tickets, so was not able to get inside the center court.

We watched the match on one of the screens provided. Not the same but better than nothing :)


kriket Says:

That’s the tennis I’d expect from the World No.1. Winning under any circumstances. Good tournament for Fish as well. Props to him, but Novak proves again that he’s the best player for a reason.
5 (five) masters titles in a year so far. Yet another record?


Dory Says:

Novak setting some unique records that Nadal and Federer don’t have is what I find amazing.


kriket Says:

The only downside to this is that all the other contenders for Cincy title will be rested, when Novak has to return to the court in 2 days? But I guess that’s how it is when you’re winning, always the last to leave the court before having to return for another challenge.


steve-o Says:

Congrats to Djokovic on his record-breaking fifth consecutive Masters title in a season!

This match was definitely won on experience and the knowledge of how to play the important points better.

Fish played fantastic, but never at the key times.


alison hodge Says:

although nole deserved to win,if fish had took some, of his break point oppotunities in the 1st set it could have been a different story,still it was a good final of high quality tennis,and competitive for which im glad about,as i was expecting nole to give fish a double bagel.


grendel Says:

This is the one that got away. Even when Djokovic won first set 6-2, Fish was playing just as well, just couldn’t take his break points. Allowed a tense Djokovic back in. No patience, whereas Djokovic consistently waited for a Fish error.

By the 3rd set, I thought Fish had learnt his lesson, which is good going, learning on the job. His approach was more measured and for all the world he looked Djokovic’s equal. It was a pity that at deuce in the final game Fish played a strange nothing shot – he was not going for a winner in the slightest – and landed the ball out.
By the end, we had seen quite a bit of Djokovic’s exaggerated fist salute or whatever you call it. Too tiresomely triumphalist for my taste. But at least it showed that Fish had Djokovic worried.

What a talented player Fish is and, as I remarked on an earlier thread, what a shame he pissed around in the early part of his career. He’s left it pretty late, but:”If Mardy wins US Open, that will be a great American story” – Ike. Unlikely, but not out of the question.


mat4 Says:

Congrats to Nole, congrats to Mardy, who played a good match, and congrats to all Nole’s fans!


mem Says:

kriket,

first, congratulations to novak on his history-making win.

no need to worry! novak won’t play probably until wednesday. remember, this is novak you’re talking about, he’ll be just fine in cincy. personally, i think he’ll be fully recharged by the time he plays his first match.

i specifically recall when he played murray that grueling 3-set semifinal which went late into the night in rome. he had to play nadal the next day in the final with less than 24 hours to recover. i particularly remembered that match because very few people expected him to recover in such a short length of time, but he recovered beautifully to beat nadal in straights. that was on clay and this is on hardcourt which suits him even better. so he’s learned how to play to win! i think he’ll be just fine!


Nina Says:

Novak was hurt before the match, he woke up with severe shoulder/back pain, so it’s understandably that he was sluggish in this match, specially in the first two sets. He raised his level in the third when it was needed, just like great champions do. I’m so proud of him. Lackluster final but Nole got his 5th master title of the season and that’s history in the making, he’s a tennis machine.

Sad for Fish, the only player I wouldn’t mind Nole losing to, since he’s one of the nicest, truly likeable guys on tour, and with a beautiful game on top of that. I hope he can finally get his first master title in Cincy after four lost finals. He’s so deserving of that. If Nole allows, of course. ;)


mat4 Says:

@Nina:

Did Nole reveal it in his post match interview?


Nina Says:

I don’t know. But an insider from the Sergio Tachini’s team on court told that to a Spanish commentator and friend of him. A realiable source. Nole also had his shoulder taped.


Kimmi Says:

Nina -hope he does not pullout next week. He will mess up my bracket..thats what i am worried about :)


vox777 Says:

Nole, bravo maestro! Another one on the muscles (which we Serbs like to say, but I’m not sure how to translate :), maybe won by force, hardly, by sheer will. Fish was great, Nole, not at his usual level… maybe it is because it was played during the day, maybe it was heat, maybe everyone expected him to win and dominate so it was harder or just Fish didn’t let him feel comfortably on the court. BUT
What amazes me the most, as I talked with one of my friends today, is that he can win comfortably, he can win a tight match, but he always finds a way to win and that is just knowledge and self believe. Amazing! When I watch him I always know that he has soooooo much in reserve, and that is why it is so tough to play against him… When opponents think that they are outplaying him, he raises the level, when opponents are playing on max he again raises the level… Bottom line, even if some matches are looking very tight it seems that it is just about his game and his will to make and effort to brake opponent. It looks like as if he is testing his opponents to see how much they can give, and when he thinks that he has seen enough, he brakes their game into pieces… maybe I’m wrong…
I would just like people to inspire him as Monfils did, not to play on result, not to calculate, not to overdo strategy, just to put him in the zone, where we all can see his full sheer brutal talent and potential… No1 in his full might and glory! No1 at the peak! Maybe he is preserving his A game for US Open… I would like to think so… If he is and winning Masters 1000 in this manner, then all is said, and I can’t wait US Open :)


skeezerweezer Says:

Congrats to Novak, his great fans! Another trophy in the pocket. Whatever you do don’t flameout before US Open. It’s been a great year watching this run so far.

Fish jad a great run also, bringin some respect to the USA at 30.


mat4 Says:

Does anybody know why Rafa Nole relations have cooled so much?


Kimberly Says:

back from Mickey Mouse land all, and quite happy to be home.

Unfort we had to choose the brackets from the iphone because Disney Magic Kingdom Resort Hotels do not have wiFi (at that price????). I meant to take Nadal out to Tsonga and then was going to change to Tsonga out to Murray after he retired but couldnt make any of the changes. So I have my boy in the final, which I did not intend, as he never made it there on his best years. But who knows.

Anyway, sounds like we missed some strange tennis.


Kimmi Says:

congrats to llodra/zimonjic for winning rogers cup, beating the bryan bros.


skeezerweezer Says:

@mat4

How about 0-5 in finals vs Nole and takin away the world #1 ranking? ;). That would piss me off, but Rafa is a way better person than me. Fed seem to not mind so much when Rafa took over, so go figger.


Brando Says:

@mat4: I very much doubt that there is an issue between the 2. I think its mere speculation or paper talk as opposed to some dislike existing between the 2.

I agree with skeez, i think the losses to nole would naturally piss rafa off and maybe at the end of his matches with nole- all finals- his body language may have been despondent and some may have take that as rafa disliking nole all of a sudden.


Ben Pronin Says:

Yeah but they’ve certainly gotten pretty far away from calling each other great players ad nauseum.


El Flaco Says:

Tsonga and Gasquet are playing doubles in Cincy. I don’t think that is a good idea. My guess is Tsonga will withdraw from the doubles.

Nadal is playing doubles with Marc Lopez which is a good idea since he is a little short of match play.


funches Says:

What am I missing here?

One poster says Fish has a beautiful game. With that ugly forehand? Don’t think so. A different game with a very good volley, which is nice to see, but definitely not a beautiful game the way he sprays unforced errors at critical times. The only seed he beat in Montreal was Wawrinka.

Grendel says winning the U.S. Open is unlikely but not out of the question. Really? Fish would be the most unlikely grand slam winner in the history of tennis. He’s never gotten past the quarter of a slam. He doesn’t have the game to beat the top players. He’s on a hot streak where he always beats the guys he’s supposed to beat, which is no small accomplishment, but he ain’t beating the big four under any circumstance or several other guys if they have a hot day.


skeezerweezer Says:

^Agree with the asessment of Fish. But he does prove on the right surface S & V is not dead, as some posters have tried to mail home. It is the ultimate offense, if a player has the skill and confidence to implement it, even with todays 75 mph groundtrokes….


grendel Says:

yes, Fish winning the Open is extremely unlikely. But the extremely unlikely does occur from time to time. In my view, Fish has easily the talent of a many a slam winner – but he doesn’t have the experience. That might sound funny to say of a 29 year old, but I stick with it. If Fish had shown the commitment of his less able compatriot Roddick, he would have found a way to deal with the critical moments.

As for not beating any of top 4, the last 3 occasions he played Murray (2010), he beat him. He’s beaten Federer, he took a set off Nadal at Wimbledon this year, and has run Djokovic close on a few occasions. There is little doubt that with more experience at the top, he’d have beaten Djokovic yesterday.

Guess that’s all I’m saying. Some players, most players, could never under any conceivable circumstances win a slam. I don’t think that is true of Fish, I think he realises that now and regrets those wasted years.

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Rankings
ATP - Jul 21 WTA - Jul 21
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Na Li
3 Roger Federer3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 David Ferrer6 Maria Sharapova
7 Milos Raonic7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Juan Martin Del Potro8 Angelique Kerber
9 Grigor Dimitrov9 Jelena Jankovic
10 Andy Murray10 Victoria Azarenka
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