7 to Remember: Ivanovic’s big breakthrough at Rogers Cup

Saturday, Jul 29

With only one week to go before Rogers Cup presented by National Bank celebrates 125 years of the women’s tournament in Toronto, we take a look back to some of the greatest moments in women’s tennis.

Kicking-off the trip down memory lane is Ana Ivanovic’s breakthrough at the tournament as a teenager.

The Serbian tennis starlet made her Rogers Cup debut in Toronto in 2005 at the age of 17 and was seeded no. 12. Ivanovic defeated Tathiana Garbin 6-3, 7-6(3) to win her first match on Canadian soil. A win by retirement against Marion Bartoli put Ivanovic into the third round, where her first run at Rogers Cup ended.

Ivanovic returned to Canada in 2006 and made her debut in Montreal.

Ivanovic came into the tournament as the no. 13 seed. She defeated France’s Tatiana Golovin 6-4, 6-2 for her first win in Montreal. The Serb carried on through the draw with wins over Jie Zheng, Jelena Jankovic, no. 14 seed Katarina Srebotnik and a triumphant semifinal win over no. 9 seed Dinara Safina 6-1, 6-4 to make the final.

Only three years after turning pro, 18-year-old Ana Ivanovic defeated no. 7 seed and former world no. 1 Martina Hingis 6-2, 6-3 to win Rogers Cup – her second career title and biggest to date. She dropped only one set through six matches.

Ivanovic’s title run in Montreal won her the US Open Series ahead of Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams and US Open champion Maria Sharapova.

Ivanovic carried the confidence she got in Canada with her on tour. A year after winning Rogers Cup she became the first player from Serbia to reach a Grand Slam final at Roland Garros. She also made the 2008 Australian Open final.

Ana Ivanovic won her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros in June 2008 and became the world no. 1 player. She was the first Serbian – male or female – to become the top ranked player. Ivanovic spent 12 weeks in her career as the world no. 1. Jelena Jankovic followed in the footsteps of her compatriot by becoming the no. 1 player in August 2008 while Novak Djokovic became the first man to claim the top spot in July 2012.

Ivanovic played her final Rogers Cup in Toronto in 2015. She made it to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Belinda Bencic. The Serb held a 17-9 record at Rogers Cup.