July 10, 2020


… you'll ever need


With what was supposed to be the 2020 French Open ending this weekend, we’ve gone through the archives from previous years of blanket coverage, and pulled out some classic pics.

First up is the 2008 edition.

What stood out in going through the archives was how many players, who were already in the midst of their career then, are still around.

After that, how many are gone – even though most of them are still very young.

Here are a few photo galleries from 12 years ago.

The (young) Canadians

Back in 2008, veterans Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil and Rebecca Marino (all 1990 babies) were in their final year of junior eligibility. It was also the first year they were all ranked high enough to play at the junior Slam level.

No one necessarily had huge ambitions for them back then; they all needed time to grow into their bodies and make a move.

But all went on to shine.

Also among them was Aleksandra Wozniak, who was the first Canadian of the recent generation to hit the top 25. Wozniak topped out at No. 21 before a shoulder injury, which didn’t really get fixed by surgery, ended her career a few years ago.

They’re still around

Roger Federer was in his prime back in 2008, at age 27. Some 12 years later, he’s still around and still in the top five.

(2008 was the year that Federer had that unexplained boil on his cheek. Remember that?)

Federer is just one of many players now nicely into their 30s who are still making an impact on the pro tours.

Here they were, back then.

The retired

Some of the players pictured here have been gone a long time. Others are more recent retirees.

But there are some quality players that shouldn’t be forgotten.

Can you name all of them? If you can, you’re a diehard.

The coaches

Some of players who were still active in 2008 have now turned to coaching.

Can you name them?

The legends

These players were already on the legends circuit back in 2008. Some of them still are.

They were, relatively speaking, still kids back then.

RIP, Peter McNamara

Back in 2008, former Aussie player-turned-coach Peter McNamara was an irrepressible force in the legends event.

Sadly, McNamara passed away last July after a battle with prostate cancer.

Richard Williams in the house

Richard Williams, then a sprightly 66, was two years away from marrying then-girlfriend Lakeisha (who is just a year older than his daughter Venus). They married in 2010, had son Dylan in 2012 and divorced in 2017.

Now 78, Williams has had to deal with all the divorce drama as well as, reportedly, a series of strokes. But recent reports are that he has been doing better. He can look forward to the movie of his life, starring … Will Smith as his movie character.

He’s seen here, randomly, taking in Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak’s match.

Waiting for Jelena Jankovic

Back in 2008, Jelena Jankovic was 23, and just a few months away from reaching the No. 1 ranking.

She defeated Dominika Cibulkova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Carla Suárez Navarro (then 19, ranked No. 132 and a surprise quarterfinalist) in a row, without dropping a set, before bowing to countrywoman Ana Ivanovic (then seeded No. 2) in the semifinals that year.

After a relatively injury-free career (at least, nothing that kept her off court for extended periods), Jankovic’s last match was a first-round loss to Petra Kvitova at the 2017 US Open.

But … surprise, surprise! Reports out of Serbia are saying she’ll make a guest appearance playing mixed doubles with Novak Djokovic during the exhibition tournament tour of the Balkans he is setting up.

Jankovic is still only 35.

Meanwhile, this was your (young) Open Court correspondent at the 2008 French Open, which was the first visit covering as a journalist.

Managed to get a little culture in, too.