Singapore Day 1 is full of surprises

When you get the top eight players in the world this season – well, eight of nine, with the absence of the injured Simona Halep – it’s hard to consider any loss a true upset.

That’s valid even if the winner is seeded lower than the player she defeated. Because in the big picue, they’re all top-10 players.

Still, the opening night at the WTA Tour Finals in Singapore Sunday did produce two … surprises.

First up to open the event, in its last go-round in Singapore, China were No. 4 seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic and No. 6 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.

Two factors were working against Svitolina coming in. The first was that her head-to-head against Kvitova was 1-7. And after Svitolina defeated the Czech in their first career meeting in Cincinnati in 2014, Kvitova has dropped just one set in those seven victories.

The second issue was that second half of the 24-year-old’s season has been a struggle. The Rome champion couldn’t cement her spot in the final eight until the very last minute.

surprises
Kvitova had to feel confident coming into her match with Svitolina. But she wasn’t steady enough. The zing on the serve didn’t seem there, and she had seven double faults in a 6-3, 6-3 defeat.

Svitolina surprises

The stat sheet might have been a bit of a mess, but Svitolina came out at the top end of a 6-3, 6-3 score that gets her tournament off to a great start.

“Winning this match definitely gives me lots of confidence. I want to take this as one to go forward, and for all those people and haters that were saying that I don’t deserve to be here and I’m, you know, not good,” Svitolina told the media in Singapore. “Until the next match, I can really enjoy this win.”

Players don’t often bring up the abuse they get on social media, unless specifically asked about it. But Svitolina brought up the haters.

Her Instagram account is inexplicably full of nastiness on a regular basis. Some might be because she’s struggled to win matches lately, so the gamblers are on her. Some of it is because while she’s not Russian, she’s close by. But it boggles the imagination to think anyone could have that much hate for this charming , hard-working pro.

For Kvitova, who can be brilliant one day and error-prone the next, it was a matter of being more the latter.

 

Calf-strapped Pliskova beats Wozniacki

In the Sunday nightcap, Karolina Pliskova was all over defending Singapore champion Caroline Wozniacki.

The 6-2, 6-4 victory, a score that makes it look closer than it felt, was made more respectable at the end by Wozniacki’s trademark never-quit work ethic.

“Especially against Caroline, you really have to beat her because she’s not gonna give you anything much. Although she was missing pretty much everything in the first set, in the second set she played much better, and I had to really fight for it. I was just happy that I close it,” Pliskova said.

surprises
Pliskova had “The Positive Woman”, Aussie Rennae Stubbs, in her corner in Singapore Sunday.

Pliskova, who had her right leg wrapped from just below the knee down to mid-calf, was as solid as could be.

She saved all 10 break-point chances against her own serve, and converted on 3-of-10 on Wozniacki’s serve.

“I had some break points, and I didn’t make it, and so I was getting a little bit frustrated with myself. I was, like, ‘Maybe that’s the time to call her, the positive woman,’ Pliskova joked about Aussie Rennae Stubbs, who is back in her corner this week and apparently into 2019. “And she was actually positive, as always. She said, ‘Look, you’re still break up,’ which was true, actually. So I didn’t panic and I closed it.”

This was another rivalry that was technically tilted in favour of the runner-up, who was seeded No. 7 to Wozniacki’s No. 2.

Although after Wozniacki took their first three meetings (all in three sets), they’ve been trading the honors back and forth.

After not meeting for three years, the two met six times in 2017, the most recent of which came in the Singapore semifinals a year ago. Wozniacki won that one on her way to the title.

That was the last time they played each other.

More match tough

surprises
Wozniacki got off to a rocky start, and didn’t have enough time to right the ship before Pliskova closed it out.

If there was a connecting thread between Pliskova and Svitolina, it was that because both only qualified a few days ago, they have played plenty of tennis over the last few weeks.

That was not the case for Kvitova and Wozniacki, who wrapped up their spots earlier.

Kvitova last played in Beijing three weeks ago. And she has played just three matches since the US Open. Wozniacki played a full three-tournament Asian swing, and ran through the field without dropping a set to win the Premier Mandatory in Beijing (although she didn’t have to defeat anyone inside the top 20).

But that was more than two weeks ago. And she went home in between.

surprises
Simultaneous coaching consults for Svitolina (Andrew Bettles) and Kvitova (Jiri Vanek) during their Singapore opener Sunday.

Pliskova believes the last-minute play is a net positive even with the rushed arrival and limited time to get over jet lag, or even to practice on these specific courts.

“You always feel better by coming on the court by having a lot of matches in the last few weeks. So I feel like that’s important, but not only with me but I think with everybody. It’s true that when Domi (Cibulkova) won, she was playing until the last moment, (Caroline) Garcia, (Svetlana) Kuznetsova, too,” Pliskova said.

“There is a lot of indoor tournaments the weeks before, so you can really get used to it here, and the matches can really help you to get the confidence back from just playing. Knowing you have to play three matches can help, too.”

Pliskova and Svitolina will meet on Tuesday, preceded by Kvitova and Wozniacki.

The Czech holds a 5-2 head-to-head, going all the way back to 2011. But Svitolina has won the last two.

Svitolina woozy

There reportedly was a scary moment during Svitolina’s press conference, where she had to leave the room for a brief period after suffering what was described as “lightheadedness”.

WTA Tour Finals: an event at a crossroads

(All screenshots from WTAtv).

Svitolina and … Saviano on coaching trial

After Elina Svitolina’s fouth-round exit from the US Open, she announced that she and her coach of nearly two years, Frenchman Thierry Ascione, were parting ways.

But the No. 6-ranked player from Ukraine, who turned 24 Wednesday, already has a potential successor lined up.

It is none other than … veteran coach Nick Saviano.

Tennis.Life spotted the former coach of Genie Bouchard and Sloane Stephens (among many other notable names) at the National Tennis Center during the US Open.

It turns out the 62-year-old Floridian was there to discuss a potential collaboration with Svitolina, her agent and her father.

One of our eagle-eyed spies spotted her down in Florida this week, working with Saviano at his academy.

An up and down 2018

Saviano is expected to travel with Svitolina to Asia.

So far, she has no plans to play next week in Tokyo or the other smaller events. She’s signed up for Wuhan, Beijing and Hong Kong.

Svitolina reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open this year after kicking off the season with a title in Brisbane, and following it up with a title in Dubai.

But her results were up and down after that. After a major win in Rome, she struggled. That included a first-round loss at Wimbledon as she visibly had lost a significant amount of weight in a very short time.

Good hard-court summer

But Svitolina rallied on the North American hard courts, with a semifinal in Montreal and a quarterfinal in Cincinnati. She reached the fourth round in New York. And all three players who defeated her – Sloane Stephens, Kiki Bertens and Anastasija Sevastova, were fully in fine form.

But then, in New York, she announced the end of her collaboration with Ascione. 

For the first part of that association, Svitolina was sharing Ascione with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, with hitting partner/associate coach Andrew Bettles the more constant presence. But with Tsonga on the shelf with a knee injury, they had more time together.

Svitolina won five titles in 2017, and reached a career best No. 3 in the rankings on Sept. 11, 2017.

Saviano worked with Genie Bouchard during the best period of her career in 2014, although a return for a second tour of duty wasn’t as successful. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

Saviano, who has an academy in Plantation, Fla. has done a lot of work with rising American teenager Amanda Anisimova over the last few years.

He did two stints with Bouchard . During the first stint, she reached the French Open semifinal, the Wimbledon final, won her first and only title in Nürnberg and reached No. 5 in the world briefly, at the end of 2014.

Saviano also worked with Sloane Stephens, prior to Stephens’s current association with Kamau Murray.

Both Bouchard and Stephens had been at his academy as pre-teens.

And, in other coaching news …

Wimbledon ’18: Women’s singles draw analysis

WIMBLEDON – How to even begin to project a possible champion on the women’s side, when four of the top eight seeds have yet to even reach a Wimbledon quarterfinal in their careers?

That’s why predictions are a fool’s game, although it can be fun to be wrong as long as you can laugh at yourself, and weren’t foolish enough to wager on the outcome.

The only two former Wimbledon champions among the two eight are reigning queen Garbiñe Muguruza and No. 8 seed Petra Kvitova, who won it twice. They are also the only two to even reach the final.

One player (No. 1 Simona Halep) made a semifinal. Caroline Wozniacki, Elina Svitolina and Caroline Garcia have never gone past the fourth round. Sloane Stephens has made one quarterfinal, and big-serving Karolina Pliskova has lost in the second round five straight years.

Meanwhile, there are three former champions (Venus, Serena and Maria Sharapova) and three former finalists (Angelique Kerber, Genie Bouchard, Vera Zvonareva) outside that group.

Jelena Ostapenko, Victoria Azarenka, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Samantha Stosur all have Grand Slam titles on their resumés.

So what to make of it? 

Let’s dive in.

Potential third-round matchups

With Serena Williams, Sharapova and others seeded in the 20s, the big-time clashes will start early.

*[1] Simona Halep vs. [30] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
*[15] Elise Mertens  vs. [22] Johanna Konta
*[12] Jelena Ostapenko vs. [24] Maria Sharapova 
[8] Petra Kvitova vs. [26] Daria Gavrilova

*[3] Garbiñe Muguruza vs. [26] Anett Kontaveit
*[14] Daria Kasatkina vs. [17] Ashleigh Barty
[11] Angelique Kerber vs. [18] Naomi Osaka
[6] Caroline Garcia vs. [27] Carla Suárez Navarro

*[7] Karolina Pliskova vs. [29] Mihaela Buzarnescu
*[9] Venus Williams vs. [20] Kiki Bertens
*[13] Julia Goerges vs. [23] Barbora Strycova
[4] Sloane Stephens vs. [31] Shuai Zhang

*[5] Elina Svitolina vs. [25] Serena Williams
*[10] Madison Keys vs. [19] Magdalena Rybarikova
[16] Coco Vandeweghe vs. [21] Anastasia Sevastova
*[2] Caroline Wozniacki vs. [32] Agnieszka Radwanska

In 11 of those 16 matchups, the lower seed has at least a decent chance to pull off the upset (those with asterisks).

That, of course, assumes all of them go according to form and make their seeding through the first two rounds.

Potential quarterfinals

[1] Simona Halep vs. [8] Petra Kvitova (or Sharapova)
[3] Garbiñe Muguruza (or Barty) vs. [6] Caroline Garcia (or Kerber)
[4] Sloane Stephens vs. [7] Karolina Pliskova (or Azarenka, or Venus)
[2] Caroline Wozniacki (or Radwanska, or Vandeweghe) vs. [5] Elina Svitolina (or Serena, or Keys)

See? There’s just no way

First-round matchups to watch

[12] Angelique Kerber (GER) vs. [Q] Vera Zvonareva (RUS)

These two are only a little more than three years apart, and both are former Wimbledon finalists. But surprisingly enough, they have never met.

Zvonareva had been off the Tour for awhile, as she married and had a baby. And that coincided with the period where Kerber rose to the top of the game. But still, it wasn’t as though Kerber was playing low-level ITFs when Zvonareva was around.

This will be the 2010 finalist’s first Wimbledon in four years.

[Q] Genie Bouchard (CAN) vs. [WC] Gabriella Taylor (GBR)

After toughing out three victories as she took part in qualifying for the first time, Bouchard ended up with a very kind draw for her first-round match.

Taylor, a 20-year-old ranked No. 182, won her first two matches on grass this season in Surbiton. She defeated countrywoman Heather Watson and Hungary’s Fanny Stollar back to back. Since then, she has lost three consecutive first-rounders.

Taylor defeated Bouchard’s countrywoman, Katherine Sebov, in the first round of the Wimbledon juniors in 2014. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

She played the junior Wimbledon event three times, and the women’s qualifying event four times. But this will be Taylor’s first Grand Slam main draw – of any kind.

[18] Naomi Osaka (JPN) vs. Monica Niculescu (ROU)

Niculescu, 30, has one fourth-round effort at Wimbledon on her resumé. That was 2015, and it’s one only two occasions where she has made the second week of a Grand Slam (the other was the US Open in 2011).

Her iconoclastic, funky game of slices and net rushes could frustrate the hard-hitting Osaka on grass. Or the Japanese player could just swipe it away. Either way, it will be fascinating to watch.

analysis

Niculescu’s problem is that she has very little play since Miami, and only one grass-court match, this week at an ITF event in Southsea.

Osaka’s problem may be an abdominal injury. She played Nottingham and Birmingham, but retired in her second-round match there against Dalila Jakupovic.

[6] Caroline Garcia (FRA) vs. Belinda Bencic (SUI)

Bencic is still only 21. But doesn’t it seems as though she’s already lived four tennis lifetimes?

The former No. 7 clawed her way back to a decent ranking when she returned from injury in September of 2017. In fact, she won 15 straight matches (with the loss of only one set) at the 125K and ITF level to close out the season.

And then she went to Hopman Cup and defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Osaka and Coco Vandeweghe (and all four of her mixed doubles matches with her scrub partner Roger Federer).

But since then, she’s not won two matches in a row. And she retired early in the second set of her last match, against a 25-year-old ranked No. 281.

We spotted Bencic out at the qualifying supporting her friend Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine, so she’s still the same fabulous person she ever was.

Garcia has never done particularly well at Wimbledon, even though she’s such a great athlete you’d think she could do well on any surface. So it’s an opportunity for both.

[10] Madison Keys (USA) vs. Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS)

These two are good pals, both having spent time training down in Boca Raton, Fla. They teamed up for doubles at the Australian Open a couple of years ago. And Keys has even played mixed doubles at Wimbledon with Tomljanovic’s boyfriend, Nick Kyrgios.

analysis

It’s what Mary Carillo would call “Big Babe Tennis”, with both hitting hard, and both actually being able to serve.

Tomljanovic is slowly getting her big serve back after shoulder surgery. But that’s a tough first-rounder for both.

The Serena factor

After all that discussion and debate, Serena Williams ended up seeded No. 25.

That means that in her first Wimbledon in two years, she cannot meet any of the top eight seeds until the third round.

But as previously discussed, there are plenty of trap doors in the draw before then – some of them more dangerous than many of the top eight.

In this case, the first round is an “ease your way in” one against Dutch qualifier Arantxa Rus. But the rest of Serena’s section isn’t half bad, with the very vulnerable Elina Svitolina her potential third-round opponent.

After that, she could be looking at Keys in the fourth round. But that’s if she gets there. Williams developed a pectoral muscle injury at the French Open, doing double-duty in singles and doubles despite not having played in two months.

Venus and Serena are not playing doubles at Wimbledon.

Singapore WTA Tour Finals wrapup

In the end, the WTA’s season finale in Singapore was a microcosm of the season on the women’s circuit.

One day, a player looked like a world beater.

The next day, she looked as though she didn’t belong anywhere near the top.

Poor followed very good and was followed by average in the order we came to expect in a topsy-turvy 2017.

But in the end, it was the two most seasoned players who came through.

Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams handled the almost-unplayable slowness of the Singapore court. They handled the round-robin format that seemed to stymie some of the younger players so programmed to the regular elimination format. 

And if Wozniacki held up the big trophy at the end, it was Williams who continued to write the story of the season.

The 37-year-old didn’t win the Player of the Year award – even in this season, you really had to win a major to get that one. But she deserved it.

A renaissance season for Venus

That Williams will finish No. 1 in prize money for 2017 speaks to her results. Among the players in the top 100, Williams played fewer weeks this year than anyone not sidelined with longer-term injuries (Stephens, Keys et al) or a suspension (Sharapova).

Williams’s longevity, her unquenchable and ongoing thirst for the fight, and her willingness to leave it all on the court despite the challenges she deals with continued in the season finale.

The tennis, mercifully, improved throughout the week. Perhaps the court sped up a little with regular use. Perhaps the players gradually adjusted to it. But in the end, the surface was a significant sidebar.

It allowed Wozniacki, a premier defensive player, to have the time she needed to do what she does best. And yet, even the 27-year-old Dane felt the urgency to finish off some points more quickly than she might have otherwise.

It’s been a long season.

The surface also hurt Williams, who found herself in some marathons earlier in the week and by the second set of the final, had simply run out of legs.

Disappearing doubles

On the doubles side, the decision last year to ditch the round-robin format used in singles and adopt a single-elimination format for the eight qualifying teams relegated it to a footnote for the week.

Had it not been for the retirement of Martina Hingis (who along with partner Yung-Jan Chan was eliminated in her second match, following her confirmation that this would indeed be her swan song), it might have passed virtually unnoticed.

For the four teams eliminated in the first round, the notion of working all season to get to Singapore, to fly all the way to Singapore, and to play just one match is a little unfair. 

But it was made necessary by the fluctuating crowd support in Singapore. 

The first edition in 2014 was a huge success on the attendance side. And while the WTA Tour kept the attendance figures on the down low in the intervening years (the numbers are not even available for 2016), they cut early-week day sessions. They cut the legends’ event. They reduced the “Rising Stars” component to a regional Asian event that also passed unnoticed.

(Remember 2015, when 22-year-old Caroline Garcia, already ranked No. 35, was considered a “rising star”? A little crazy. But a final between Garcia and Naomi Osaka that year certainly had more marquee value than this year’s finals between … Priska Nugroho and Pimrada Jattavapornvanit, and Megan Smith and Ya-Hsin Lee.)

Singapore results and grades

Singapore

[1] Simona Halep
Grade: C-

In her first round-robin match against Garcia, she looked like a world beater. It was Halep’s first match as the new world No. 1, and she played the part to perfection.

In her second, against Wozniacki, she won just two games. In her third, against Elina Svitolina, she won just seven games and was eliminated. 

She finishes the season ranked No. 1. But she didn’t finish it playing like a No. 1. Her challenge in 2018 will be to marry up those two concepts.

[2] Garbiñe Muguruza
Grade: C

The WTA Tour Player of the Year, the Wimbledon champion, didn’t finish her season the way she wanted to.

She began the week well against overwhelmed Singapore rookie Jelena Ostapenko. But then, it unraveled with a desultory loss to Karolina Pliskova. The defeat at the hands of Williams was a bruising one. Still, it was a straight-sets loss.

The Spaniard has the mien and posture of a champion. But there’s something missing. It seemed as though she might be the one to come through and take a firm grasp on the top spot, in this window of opportunity caused by the absence of so many champions. But it didn’t happen. It’s an ongoing mystery.

[3] Karolina Pliskova
Grade: B

With one-week coach Rennae Stubbs on board, the on-court coaching consults definitely took an uptick – especially for non-Czech speakers. Pliskova had already co-opted Barbora Strycova coach Tomas Krupa for 2018, so it can go no further. But hopefully some of the other players in Singapore will give it some consideration, because Stubbs, a great athlete who mastered the entire court during her career, has something to offer.

Pliskova looked like a world-beater against a rusty Williams in her first round. In her second, against Muguruza, she looked great again. But then she was crushed by Ostapenko in what essentially was a meaningless match (beyond the money and ranking points). At 25, with plenty of experience behind her and in her second tour of Singapore, Pliskova definitely should have handled that “dead rubber” match with more aplomb. 

[4] Elina Svitolina
Grade: C

Svitolina gets some slack because it was her first appearance at the Tour Finals. The players have to arrive early, do a lot of media and promotion. The entire routine of a tournament is completely turned upside down. The week before the matches actually begin must feel endless.

She was thrashed by Wozniacki in her first match. But she fought valiantly and played some very good tennis in her marathon loss to Garcia in her second match – arguably the match of the tournament. 

But it was clear at that point that she’d had enough. Faced with the possibility that she wasn’t yet out of contention for the weekend after that match, her attitude and words suggested she’d just as soon not even entertain that notion. That’s not what you want to hear from one of the eight best players in the world.

[5] Venus Williams
Grade: A+

In the absence of her sister Serena, you wonder how different this season would have looked without Williams’ throwback effort.

She created the spark in Singapore that was missing with the rest of the field (And that, despite a desultory and somewhat disrespectful effort in her press conferences; those on hand were only doing their jobs, and had travelled a long way to do them).

For the 37-year-old to win the whole thing would have been a storybook ending. It couldn’t quite happen. But in the end, she wasn’t the best player on the week. So it was fitting.

[6] Caroline Wozniacki
Grade: A+

Wozniacki won the biggest title of her career in Singapore. And it was a perfect marriage of surface and playing style.

The commentators were gushing with praise about how she was playing her best tennis ever. But if they paid more attention to her on a day-to-day basis, they might revise that. The Dane has been playing excellent tennis all year. If she fell a little short in most of her tournament finals, she nonetheless made eight of them this season. And she improved her ranking from No. 19 at the start of 2017 to No. 3 at the end.

The muddy court was ideal for arguably the best defensive player in the game. But it was her veteran’s ability to adjust her tactics to take best advantage of it that won her the title. Wozniacki took advantage of the opportunities that did present themselves in points, and added a little more when she needed to.

[7] Jelena Ostapenko
Grade: C

Of all the players in Singapore, Ostapenko’s 2018 season is going to be the most fascinating.

Her win at the French Open, while well-deserved, was aided by the inability of some of her colleagues to seize their moment. With her inexperience, and insouciance, she had no such baggage and was the last one left standing.

But even on the Singapore court, the weakness of her serve cost her. When Williams pounced on her second delivery with impunity later in their round-robin match, the carefree ability to hit winners took a hit. And the surface hurt her in the same way it helped Wozniacki; the winners were harder to come by. And when a player used to hitting those winners isn’t getting them, they try to add even more. And that led to errors.

Only in her final match did Ostapenko exhibit that insouciance again. But there was nothing at stake for her; she was going home regardless. That was telling. Again, as with Svitolina, it was her first trip.

As well, coach Anabel Medina Garrigues wasn’t there, having left to take the Fed Cup captaincy in Spain. A calming influence, Medina Garrigues can take some credit for that French Open victory. The next coach is going to have a tough act to follow.

[8] Caroline Garcia
Grade: A

The last to qualify for Singapore by virtue of back-to-back wins at big events in Wuhan and Beijing (and an injury to main competitor Johanna Konta), the WTA Tour Finals were a coming-out party.

Of all the Singapore rookies, she was the only one who clearly lived the experience to the fullest – win or lose.

Smiling, talkative, a battler on the court, perhaps the time is now for the French player of whom so much has been expected. She let her game flow for much of the week, and it was a beautiful thing.

Given how much tennis Garcia had played in the late stages to get there, her resistance through all those hours on the court was impressive. The three best matches of the week all had her on one side of the court.

Four top-10 wins as Svitolina takes Toronto

When everyone shows up, there are no shortcuts to victory at a Premier 5 event like the Rogers Cup.

So when Elina Svitolina hoisted the trophy Sunday in Toronto after a 6-4, 6-0 win over Caroline Wozniacki, no one could ever say she didn’t earn it.

The world No. 5 defeated No. 9 Venus Williams, No. 4 Garbiñe Muguruza, No. 2 Simona Halep and then No. 6 Caroline Wozniacki in the final .

It is the ninth title of her young career – and her fifth this season alone.

She had won some smaller events before this season. But with wins in Dubai, Roma and Toronto – all Premier 5 events with very strong fields, she is making a statement. She’s the first player to do it.

“(I) slept only, like, three, four hours because probably drink too much coffee (Saturday) because also was very late night. And then I needed to play first match on, sat down. So yeah, coffee probably kicked in,” Svitolina said. 

“I need some time still to really realize, because I had so many matches for the last two days. And it’s been really, really tough physically. Today was very hot. So I’ve been really struggling,” she added. “So I’m just very happy that it’s finished. And with a title, it’s even more special.”

Two form players

Wozniacki and Svitolina were the winningest players on the WTA Tour coming into Toronto.

Svitolina was 39-9 (now 44-9). Wozniacki 42-15 (now 46-16).

“Actually when I was coming here, I had no expectations at all, because I was little bit injured. I didn’t know how my body would react. It was very tough when I came here. I didn’t feel so good on court and that’s why I came earlier. It was on Wednesday. And, yeah, I had some time here to adapt and prepare and be ready,” Svitolina said. “And I think this was great tournament for me. I beat four really good players. And, you know, it was very, very special week for me.”

This was Wozniacki’s sixth final of the season. But she has yet to win one. Svitolina has maximized; she’s 5-for-5 in finals in 2017 including a 6-4, 6-2 win over Wozniacki in the Dubai final.

No wonder Wozniacki was rather out of sorts in the second set, as she called upon father/coach Victor/Piotr to come out for a consult.

Typically, she sits there impassively, appearing to be completely ignoring her father and his advice. But on this occasion, she argued fairly animatedly with him.

Svitolina
Usually impassive, almost oblivious, Wozniacki had some things to say to her father/coach during a coaching consult at 0-5 in the second set of the Rogers Cup final Sunday. (Screenshot: WTAtv)

But it was too late.

“It was a tough day. She played well. She mixed up the pace and made it uncomfortable for me out there,” Wozniacki said. 

When the tournament is held in Montreal on alternate years, the Dane has done very well. She even won the title in 2010. But in five previous trips to Toronto in her career, Wozniacki hadn’t posted a single victory except for her first visit in 2007, when she won two matches in qualifying. 

“You know, I wasn’t really expecting much out of myself when I came into the tournament. Obviously I haven’t won a match here before,” she said. “But it was a good week and I beat some great players, and I can really take a lot with me and be proud of that.”