Rogers Cup in La belle province: Le match de la journée
August 11, 2012 · Print This Article
by: Charles Blouin-Gascon
Sometimes in a tennis match, two players are evenly matched and both will play their best. The result is a beautiful sight.
On Friday August 10 at the 2012 Rogers Cup, Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak and Christina McHale battled on Centre Court of Uniprix Stadium, and the native of Blainville, Que., was looking to reach the quarterfinal of her home country’s tournament for the first time of her career.
It could be a crowning moment for the Canadian, who earlier at the Rogers Cup had told reporters that so far, “It couldn’t have worked out any better.”
Wozniak was leading the American McHale 7-6 (5) and 5-2 in a tight match that was halted at 3:52 p.m., just when it looked like the No. 55-ranked Wozniak had seized control of the match. She was about to serve for the match against the American, 26th in the world, when rain started coming down.
(Because that’s another thing that sometimes happens in a tennis match–play halted by rain–and it’s not a beautiful sight.)
At 8:52 p.m., rain stopped long enough for the Centre Court to be dried off, for McHale and Wozniak to warm up and get introduced to the crowd before chair umpire Mariana Alves decided to send the players back to the dressing room. Rain has started coming down again. Play was officially called not long after, at 10:11 p.m. The match is set to resume Saturday afternoon not before 1 p.m.–so long as rain doesn’t ruin it once again.
This is the third meeting between McHale and Wozniak, who split their first two head-to-head matches–the Canadian winning this year in Charleston and the American taking their first-round match at last year’s US Open. For once, the match may not go to a third set and that’s probably because Wozniak played one of her best matches.
Down 5-3 in the first set, the 24-year-old managed to break the serve of the American when McHale was uncharacteristically unsteady from the baseline. This was key, as the two players got back on serve before Wozniak was able to take the first set at the tiebreak.
From there, her heavy and consistent groundstrokes became too much for the 20-year-old from Teaneck, NJ. Wozniak was steady and she committed very few unforced errors. In the second set, she imposed her will in jumping out to a two-break lead.
On the same day that World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the tournament, that Lucia Safarova eliminated No. 5-ranked Samantha Stosur, and the rain hijacked pretty much every other match, a little Canadian flavour in the quarterfinals might just be what the tournament needed.
For more Rogers Cup talk and quirky commentary, follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @CeeeBG