Looking back : Frank Dancevic’s quarterfinal quest

Thursday, Jun 27

At Rogers Cup, Canadian Frank Dancevic has always fed off the home crowd’s energy. He’s played mind-blowing tennis here time and time again, even when pitted against much higher ranked opponents.

In August 2007, the World No.91 landed in Montréal with a wild card into the main draw of his sixth Rogers Cup. Two weeks earlier, he had fought his way into the final in Indianapolis, ousting World No.5 Andy Roddick en route and wowing the tennis world.

Back on home turf, he dazzled fans with a quarterfinal berth. He sent Juan Martin del Potro and Wayne Odesnik packing in the first two rounds and ignited National Bank Court in his third-round match against then World No.35 Fernando Verdasco.

Spectators even started breaking away from the action on Centre Court to support him on the smaller Grandstand, cheering at every game.

After clinching a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory, Dancevic thanked the roaring crowd: “Since the start of my career, I’ve played a lot of Davis Cup matches where the atmosphere was electrifying, but I’ve never seen anything like tonight. It’s just unbelievable.”

With his ticket to the quarters in hand, the Canadian faced the tremendous task of taking on World No.2 Rafael Nadal.

Martin Laurendeau, who was Dancevic’s coach at the time, urged his protégé not to put any unnecessary pressure on himself and have fun.

And that’s exactly what our homegrown hero did: he played brilliant tennis to claim the first set and lit up the 11 437 fans more than anyone had in a long, long time.

Despite the three-set loss, Dancevic loved the experienced: “The atmosphere was incredible again. This has been the most extraordinary week of my life.”

We loved it, too, Frank! It’s definitely a highlight of the past 39 editions of Rogers Cup.

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