Looking back: Ana Ivanovic becomes Montréal’s new tennis darling

Thursday, Jun 20

Among the highlights of the past 40 years of Rogers Cup is most certainly Ana Ivanovic’s Cinderella story in Montréal in 2006. Emerging from the shadows, she enthralled the crowds and claimed the crown against all odds.

Ranked World No.19, Ana was virtually unknown when she made her very first appearance in the city but quickly conquered the hearts of local fans on her way to her very first win at a leading event.

Dropping only a set en route to the title, she was nothing short of impressive in the final showdown. Indeed, Ivanovic dominated the match and took only 58 minutes to dispatch World No.12 Martina Hingis (6-2, 6-3). “I was a bit nervous at the start of the match, but I was able to impose my game against a great player. When I was a junior, I watched her [Hingis] win Grand Slams on TV. This is an important step for me, I just took a big step forward,” explained Ivanovic after the win.

Ironically, at the start of the tournament, the Swiss Miss had rightly affirmed that Ana was a serious contender for the title.

Two years later, in 2008, the Serbian star hoisted the winner’s trophy at Roland-Garros and rose to World No.1. Rogers Cup had marked the start of her ascension.

Ana Ivanovic has always been one of Montréal’s tennis darlings and even reciprocated the love on a t-shirt she wore to a tournament press conference.

 

In 2016, she retired from tennis at the age of 29 after years of battling injuries that had kept her from playing her best.

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