Sunday, July 31st 2016 is going to be quite a day for my tennis and LPGA rooting interests. My current top two favorite women’s players, Madison Keys and Simona Halep (well, Halep and Petra Kvitova are tied for my #2), vie for the women’s singles crown in Montreal at the 2016 Rogers Cup. My favorite men’s player, Novak Djokovic, looks to get back in the winners circle after stumbling at Wimbledon, in Toronto at the Rogers Cup. The men and women play Rogers Cup at different sites, Toronto and Montreal, alternating each year. The women play in Montreal this year, then Toronto next year and so on. Meanwhile, on the LPGA, my most cherished player, Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand, tries to protect an overnight 2 shot lead at the 2016 Women’s British Open. It would be May’s first Major. But remember, she had a 2 shot lead with 3 holes to play at the year’s first Major, the ANA Inspiration…and well, 3 bogeys later it was heartbreak. However, that was an Ariya Jutanugarn who had not yet been able to finish off a tournament. Now, she is a 3-time LPGA champion. We’ll see what a difference, if any, that makes on Sunday.
In Montreal, there were sixes all over the place. Simona Halep had 2 stretches in her 6-0 3-6 6-2 win over Angelique Kerber where she won 6 games in a row. Kerber also had a stretch were she won 6 games in a row. Not only did Madison Keys have a 6 game stretch of wins in her 6-2 6-1 dismissal of Kristina Kucova, she actually won 7 in a row from 2-2 in the first set until she was up and cruising 6-2 3-0 in the second. The Halep v Keys final will be a rematch of their 3-set match at Wimbledon a few weeks ago. Maddie took the first set before Halepeno came back to win in 3. Keys was cramping in the third set, but no excuses. Both players were out in the same conditions. Whether it’s stretching, yoga, better hydration, relaxation…whatever the case, it’s up to each player to be fit enough to make it to the end of big matches. I love Maddie, but the leg issues keep rearing their head. Maybe a Djokovic type stretching routine would be helpful. Early in his career, he had some of the same injury issues and problems in hot conditions during matches. Now he’s a fitness freak. If Keys can overcome the injury bug, she might rule the women’s game one day.
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5 SIMONA HALEP d. 2 Angelique Kerber, 6-0 3-6 6-2
10 MADISON KEYS d [Q] Kristina Kucova, 6-2 6-1