April 19, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

OC Flashback: when Djoko teamed up with Rafa for doubles at the 2010 Rogers Cup

Nadal and Djokovic teamed up for doubles at the 2010 Rogers Cup.

With both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic front and centre the last few weeks, for different reasons, we were reminded of the time they paired up for doubles at the Rogers Cup.

It was in 2010, in Toronto.

The two, like many other top players, often play doubles when they start a swing on a different surface. So the Rogers Cup (now the National Bank Cup) has featured many of them over the years.

The previous year in Montreal, Nadal teamed up with then-41-year-old coach Francis Roig and beat Djokovic and countryman Dusan Vemic.

This time, the two took on a couple of Canadian kids: 19-year-old Milos Raonic and 20-year-old Vasek Pospisil.

And so, of course, they warmed each other up.

It’s notable how many familiar (if a bit older) faces were on the practice court that day, and remain there today.

There’s a lesson to be learned in that.

Here’s what it looked like. It was serious business, little banter.

They had a lot more fun during the match itself.

(No judging – it was at the very beginning of our multimedia efforts).

A rare practice session together

The match was a Monday night special on the main stadium after rain scuttled play most of the day. (We ended up postponing our trip back to Montreal to continue coverage of the women because of it, and drove all night after it was done).

Here’s what their resumés looked like then. Crazy that there was only a 3-4 year age difference between the two rock stars and the two kids. But such a gap in accomplishments then, as now.

(As of Aug. 2, 2010)

That’s how good they were, so young. Nadal and Djokovic were roughly the same age then as Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are now.

Nadal lost to Murray in the semifinals of the singles that year; Djokovic lost to Roger Federer, 7-5 in the third set, in the other semifinal. And Murray beat Federer for the title.

Without getting too nostalgic, those were pretty good days. Not sure we fully realized, at the time, what we were enjoying.

Here are a few pics from that doubles match.

(Notably, Raonic – who unleashed 232 km/hour on his very first serve of the match – and Pospisil won, 5-7, 6-3, [10-8]

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