Venus Williams loses Rogers Cup final, but falls in love with Montreal
Agnieszka Radwanska takes $467,300 in prize money with win
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland kisses her trophy after beating Venus Williams of the United States in the final of the 2014 Rogers Cup women’s tennis tournament at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014.
Photograph by: Dario Ayala, The Gazette
MONTREAL — Venus Williams may have come up short in the Rogers Cup Canadian Open women’s tennis final, but she discovered a new favourite city in the process.
“I didn’t expect this kind of support,” Williams said after she dropped a 6-4, 6-2 decision to loss to third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland Sunday at Uniprix Stadium. “I felt like I was from, you know, Quebec. I might be a long-lost soul from Quebec.”
This was the first the 34-year-old Williams has played in Montreal, but she said it rivals Rome as her No. 1 stop on the tour. In fact, she said she intends to explore her love affair witjh Quebec further when she plays in the Bell Challenge next month in Quebec City.
Williams was clearly the crowd favourite in the final but she said that fatigue was a factor in the defeat.
“I was tired because I played so many matches, a couple thousand hours on the court,” said Williams, who said being tired was a good thing. “Instead of fatigure that’s unconquerable, (it’s) just the opposite really; a fatigue from too much success. That’s the positive of today. I was running out of energy because I was winning too many matches. I haven’t had that problem for a long time.”
Radwaska conceded that she had an easier route to the final.
“I think she had one more match than me,” said Radwanska. “I had a bye so that was a little easier, but I still had tough matches on the way. Even the semifinal (a 7-6, 7-6 win over eighth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus) was two sets but felt like a three-set battle.
Radwanska said she was prepared for Williams to play an aggressive game and use her superior serve to her advantage, but the serve let Williams down. She put only 46 per cent of her first serves into play. She also double-faulted six times and those mistakes factored into service breaks for Radwanska.
The 25-year-old Radwanska took advantage of some sloppy play by Williams early in the first set to take a 4-1 lead. She broke Williams in the third game and again in the fifth after Williams double-faulted twice to fall 0-30.
Williams got one of those breaks back in the next game, but Radwanska made her work for it after falling behind 0-40. Williams put four break-point opportunities into the net before converting on a forehand return of service down the line. But it wasn’t enough as the players remained on serve with Radwanska taking the set 6-4.
Radwanska opened the second set with a service break. Williams pulled even with a break at 2-2 but double-faulted twice in the next game to give back the break. There were two more double faults as Radwanska broke for a 5-2 lead and then served out the match.
Radwanka said she couldn’t match Williams’s serve in velocity but she had an edge in accuracy. She had three aces to one for Williams and double-faulted only twice.
“A couple of times her serve was up around 200 (kilometres) per hour but my tactic but was to find the right spot, even when the serve is shorter,” said Radwanska. “This is the way I always try to find a way to win.”
Williams reached the final with a 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 win Saturday over her younger sister Serena. It was the 26th meeting between the sisters and Venus cut her sister’s edge in the series to 15-11. Serena, who is the No. 1 player on the WTA Tour, had won five matches in a row dating back to 2009.
The victory was worth $467,300 U.S. to Radwanska, who remains No. 5 in the WTA rankings. Williams, who moves back into the top 20 with her appearance in the final, collected $220,000.
Notes: Organizers announced total attendance for the event was 181,996, which represents a record for a one-week event on the WTA Tour. The previous record was 175,000 for the 2006 Rogers Cup. But tournament director Eugene Lapierre noted there was still room for growth because the record for the men’s event here is 215,000.
The top-ranked Italian team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci won the doubles title with a 7-6, 6-3 win over fourth-seeded Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Sania Mirza of India. The winners split $133,700 while the losers received $67,500.
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