The final of the 2013 Rogers Cup (Toronto) was a demonstration of the good and bad of a player going on an upset run. On the one hand Sorana Cirstea, a player with only 1 WTA title, who hadn’t reached a WTA final since 2008 and who’s never advanced past the 3rd round of a Major in singles, had the chance to achieve the biggest win of her career taking on Serena Williams. Sorana earned her place in the final with upsets of Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic, Petra Kvitova and Li Na. That’s the good part. Here’s the bad part. Very often when a player has an upset or two and finds herself in a quarter, semi or final against a player like Serena Williams, they often fall apart both with their game and their emotion. Sorana was never in this match. She looked like a deer in headlights. Serena dusted her off 6-2 6-0. Admittedly, Serena has blown away bigger names than Cirstea before, so it’s no guarantee Li, Kvitova, Wozniacki or Jankovic would have fared any better. But win or lose, they would have fought a lot more. They would have shown more emotion (well, other than despair…Sorana showed that). In the semifinals, Agnieszka Radwanska lost to Serena but she went out fighting. She wasn’t overwhelmed by the moment. Sorana seemed completely overwhelmed mentally and emotionally. No amount of visits from coach Darren Cahill was going to change the momentum. Ok, maybe Sorana won her 2 games of the match after Cahill’s first visit. Still, it wasn’t an interesting match to watch. And I agree with Renee Stubbs, Serena didn’t even play her best in this tournament. A healthy Victoria Azarenka could beat this version of Serena (and has done so earlier this year). Don’t misunderstand me, I salute both Serena for her win and Sorana for her amazing week. Cirstea should be very proud of what she accomplished this week. But in the end, if it’s going to be a lopsided Serena win, I’d rather see Li Na yelling at her husband or Jelena Jankovic snipping at Serena on her pace of play…anything that shows her opponent has some fire inside of her. Now, I am not saying Sorana doesn’t have that kind of fire. It’s just that she doesn’t have the experience yet to handle the pressure of facing Serena in a final. I also realize that a tennis tournament has to be taken as a whole. Sometimes the best matches are not the final. Clearly, the highlight of this tournament was the Serena-Aga semifinal. In the end, I congratulate Serena on a great win and Sorana for a great week.
|Finals – Completed|
|S. Williams #1 «||6||6|
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KATARINA SREBOTNIK and JELENA JANKOVIC (doubles champions)