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Volume 27 No. 5
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Rogers Cup Sees Record Crowds Despite Withdrawals

Adding a roof on IGA Stadium is a long-term goal of Rogers Cup organizers to improve the fan experience
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Adding a roof on IGA Stadium is a long-term goal of Rogers Cup organizers to improve the fan experience
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Adding a roof on IGA Stadium is a long-term goal of Rogers Cup organizers to improve the fan experience
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The ATP/WTA Rogers Cup concluded over the weekend and the men's tournament in Montreal "attracted more than 223,000 spectators to eclipse the previous high of 216,000" set in '97, according to Joshua Clipperton of the CP. The record attendance comes "even with all tickets being refunded for Saturday’s night session" after Gael Monfils withdrew from the event prior to his semifinal match against Rafael Nadal, who defeated Daniil Medvedev in yesterday's final to win the tournament. Rogers Cup Montreal Tournament Dir Eugene Lapierre said that while a roof on IGA Stadium is a "long-term goal, there are other areas where the fan and player experience can improve." Lapierre said, "We do see the small details that are wrong and we take notes, and we are going to improve them for next year" (CP, 8/11). Meanwhile, Bianca Andreescu won the women's tournament in Toronto after Serena Williams withdrew from the final, but Rogers Cup Toronto Tournament Dir Karl Hale before the match said it was "absolutely the dream final scenario we could have had." He called the event "arguably our best tournament we’ve had in history." Hale noted the tournament had its "first sellout sessions on the women’s side in over 20 years" on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (TORONTO SUN, 8/12).

SOUR ENDING: In Toronto, Rosie DiManno notes back spasms "forced Williams to retire just four games into the open set, trailing 3-1," and a "mere 19 minutes after their final had begun in front of an expectant sold-out audience." Andreescu is the "first Canadian woman to claim this trophy in half a century" (TORONTO STAR, 8/12). Also in Toronto, Steve Simmons notes the crowd at the Aviva Centre upon learning of Williams' resignation "stood stunned, near-silent and awkward when it abruptly ended" (TORONTO SUN, 8/12). The TORONTO SUN's Ian Shantz writes the Andreescu-Williams match will "go down as the most anti-climactic final in recent memory in women’s tennis" (TORONTO SUN, 8/12).