July 21, 2024

Open Court


US Open flashback: 2011 – Pospisil makes main-draw debut (video)


As 30-year-old Vasek Pospisil prepares for his first second week at the US Open, we flash back all the way to 2011.

Just turned 21, and straight from his first meeting with Roger Federer in the second round of the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Pospisil got through three qualifying matches to make the big event for the first time.

Here’s what his tournament looked like.

Worth noting that winning four matches and getting to the second round of the US Open, back in 2011, was worth $31,000.

Getting to the second round this year – despite the pandemic challenges – is worth more than three times that: $100,000.

Here’s what Pospisil said after beating Zemlja in a tough one – third-set tiebreak. And about having to hang in the hotel for a few days while Hurricane Irene blew through.

(Vintage Pospisil pink cheeks alert!)

After beating the Czech Rosol, Pospisil got a little extra love in the interview room (I believe this was a Czech journalist).

Davis Cup hero in Israel

Pospisil went right from the US Open to Israel that year. He first gained some big attention because he pretty much singlehandedly beat Israel – with the help of Daniel Nestor in the doubles.

It was a ridiculously impressive physical and emotional effort, and got the Canadians into the World Group.

Going into that US Open, he was ranked exactly the same in both singles and doubles – No. 143.

Here’s Pospisil just a few weeks before, talking about facing Federer.

Flashing WAY back … to 2007

Four years before his breakthrough at the seniors level, Pospisil made his first US Open main draw in the juniors. He had just turned 17.

The singles didn’t go that well, although if I recall correctly, Ignatik was the No. 1 junior in the world at the time and was the No. 1 seed.

Pospisil lost in the second round of the 2007 US Open junior singles. The previous week at the warmup event in Quebec, he was beaten in the second round by a guy named … Dan Evans.

Young Pospisil in demand

But back in the day (and probably still now), Pospisil was at the top of every top junior’s list as a doubles partner.

At this US Open, he played with a hotshot 16-year-old named … Grigor Dimitrov.

Dimitrov lost in the third round of the singles (also to Evans).

But they made the doubles final, losing to Jonathan Eysseric and Jérôme Inzarillo. (The Frenchmen, obviously, have not gone on to have the same type of pro careers).

Matchy-matchy in adidas

What I recall from those days was that they were pretty strict on the “matchy-matchy” on court. So Dimitrov, who already had the sweet clothing contract, lent him a shirt.

Also: Dimitrov was a serious hothead in this match – and Canadian referee Tony Cho had to come on court and talk him down a notch or five. They got a penalty point because of his antics at a pretty crucial stage.

Some thirteen years later, Pospisil is set to face Alex de Minaur (who was eight years old when Pospisil played in that junior doubles final).

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