September 21, 2023

Open Court


Four top-10 wins as Svitolina takes Toronto

When everyone shows up, there are no shortcuts to victory at a Premier 5 event like the Rogers Cup.

So when Elina Svitolina hoisted the trophy Sunday in Toronto after a 6-4, 6-0 win over Caroline Wozniacki, no one could ever say she didn’t earn it.

The world No. 5 defeated No. 9 Venus Williams, No. 4 Garbiñe Muguruza, No. 2 Simona Halep and then No. 6 Caroline Wozniacki in the final .

It is the ninth title of her young career – and her fifth this season alone.

She had won some smaller events before this season. But with wins in Dubai, Roma and Toronto – all Premier 5 events with very strong fields, she is making a statement. She’s the first player to do it.

“(I) slept only, like, three, four hours because probably drink too much coffee (Saturday) because also was very late night. And then I needed to play first match on, sat down. So yeah, coffee probably kicked in,” Svitolina said. 

“I need some time still to really realize, because I had so many matches for the last two days. And it’s been really, really tough physically. Today was very hot. So I’ve been really struggling,” she added. “So I’m just very happy that it’s finished. And with a title, it’s even more special.”

Two form players

Wozniacki and Svitolina were the winningest players on the WTA Tour coming into Toronto.

Svitolina was 39-9 (now 44-9). Wozniacki 42-15 (now 46-16).

“Actually when I was coming here, I had no expectations at all, because I was little bit injured. I didn’t know how my body would react. It was very tough when I came here. I didn’t feel so good on court and that’s why I came earlier. It was on Wednesday. And, yeah, I had some time here to adapt and prepare and be ready,” Svitolina said. “And I think this was great tournament for me. I beat four really good players. And, you know, it was very, very special week for me.”

This was Wozniacki’s sixth final of the season. But she has yet to win one. Svitolina has maximized; she’s 5-for-5 in finals in 2017 including a 6-4, 6-2 win over Wozniacki in the Dubai final.

No wonder Wozniacki was rather out of sorts in the second set, as she called upon father/coach Victor/Piotr to come out for a consult.

Typically, she sits there impassively, appearing to be completely ignoring her father and his advice. But on this occasion, she argued fairly animatedly with him.

Usually impassive, almost oblivious, Wozniacki had some things to say to her father/coach during a coaching consult at 0-5 in the second set of the Rogers Cup final Sunday. (Screenshot: WTAtv)

But it was too late.

“It was a tough day. She played well. She mixed up the pace and made it uncomfortable for me out there,” Wozniacki said. 

When the tournament is held in Montreal on alternate years, the Dane has done very well. She even won the title in 2010. But in five previous trips to Toronto in her career, Wozniacki hadn’t posted a single victory except for her first visit in 2007, when she won two matches in qualifying. 

“You know, I wasn’t really expecting much out of myself when I came into the tournament. Obviously I haven’t won a match here before,” she said. “But it was a good week and I beat some great players, and I can really take a lot with me and be proud of that.”

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