The Cinderella run of Belinda Bencic

Friday, Jul 13

Rogers Cup presented by National Bank has given tennis fans in Montreal countless reasons to cheer over the years and has become an integral event of the city’s summer season. Over the next few weeks, we will revisit a few of the Cinderella performances that have happened in tournament history. After Aleksandra Wozniak, Ana Ivanovic, Tamira Paszek, and Dominika Cibulkova, this week we revisit Belinda Bencic’s breakthrough at Rogers Cup in 2015.

The Swiss’ dream run happened in Toronto and not Montreal, but regardless, it was hard to miss as it captivated the entire tennis world! Bencic beat four of the top five seeds in the tournament en route to the biggest title of her career. At just 18 years of age, she became the youngest champion in Rogers Cup history, surpassing Ana Ivanovic in 2006.

Bencic was certainly made to work for her most prestigious trophy to date. Her draw in Toronto that year was such that she only faced former Grand Slam champions or finalists.

She topped Eugenie Bouchard 6-0, 5-7, 6-2 in the opening round, one year after the Canadian reached the Wimbledon final. In round two, she upset Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 7-5 and needed three sets again in the Round of 16, this time to eliminate Sabine Lisicki and she then took care of Ana Ivanovic in straight sets in the quarter-finals.

By far Bencic’s most impressive win of the week, and perhaps of her career, came in the semifinals when she went toe-to-toe with none other than Serena Williams and defeated the 23-time Grand Slam champion 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in a thrilling encounter. In fact, the American had only suffered one loss in 2015 before running into a Belinda on a mission. Bencic became the youngest player to beat Williams since Maria Sharapova in the 2004 Wimbledon final.

In the championship match, Bencic got the better of Simona Halep who was forced to retire down 0-3 in the final frame after a grueling pair of tiebreak sets. In the end, with Bencic being crowned Rogers Cup champion, her Cinderella run actually never did strike midnight.

This year, there’s a very good chance that the fans in Montreal will get to see Bencic play during qualifying weekend as she attempts to get back to the top of her game following wrist surgery in 2017. So, make sure to come out for our free IGA Family Weekend from August 3-5, who knows who else you will see both and on and off the court.

See you next week for a look back at Kristina Kucova’s Cinderella run in Montreal in 2016.