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Andy T Aug 1st, 2005 10:05 AM

Event History 1970-present
 
The tournament started in Toronto 1892 and the Canadian Championships became a regular fixture on the North American summer tour, albeit as a sideshow to the main events in the US. Although one or two big names played the tournament before 1970, it was a fairly low-key event, roughly equivalent to a tier IV or V today. The championships became "open" in 1968.

1970-79


From 1970-74, the Canadian Open emerged as a major event on the summer circuit. In 1970, among the challengers for the title were Australian Margaret Court and American Rosie Casals, who, with King out injured, were the top-ranked players in the world. Margaret Court clinched the title in a tight three-setter over Casals 6-8 6-4 6-4 and the two teamed up to beat Helen Gourlay and Pat Walkden 6-0 6-1 in the doubles final.

The following year, Court was on maternity leave and did not defend her title. Top billing went instead to the recently crowned French and Wimbledon champion, Evonne Goolagong, whose meteoric rise had stunned the tennis establishment. Casals, Durr and Wade crowned a line-up containing 4 of the top 8 players in the world and all made it to the semi finals. Goolagong came through against Wade after a disastrous start 16 63 62 and Durr outsteadied Casals 60 26 62. The 1971 final saw Françoise Durr confound Evonne 64 62. Evonne, partnering Lesley Turner-Bowrey, also lost the doubles final to Casals and Durr 62 63. Oddly, neither Goolagong nor Wade played the US Open that year. Wade withdrew injured and Goolagong was kept out of the event by her coach Vic Edwards, who considered that she wasn’t ready.

Summer 1972 saw Margaret Court return to tennis and to the Canadian Open. Wade and Goolagong were also back and a fourth top-tenner, Italian Open Champion Linda Tuero competed. This time, Evonne Goolagong swept the board, beating Tuero 63 62 and Wade 63 61 to win the singles and teaming up with Court to beat Kirk and Walkden-Pretorius 36 63 75 in the doubles. Wade had sensationally beaten Court 63 16 63 in the semi finals of what was Court’s third tournament back on the tour.

In 1973, Goolagong beat doubles partner Peggy Michel 57 62 60 in the semi final and German claycourter Helga Niessen-Masthoff 76 64 in the final to retain her title. Masthoff, on a rare visit to the US, had put out 16-year-old Martina Navratilova 61 46 60 in the semis. The four singles semi finalists played out the doubles final as well, with Goolagong and Michel beating Masthoff and Navratilova 63 62 to lift the title. Navratilova was to win the Canadian doubles final 31 years later!

1974 was the fifth successive year that the title went to a grand slam champion. This year it was the turn of Chris Evert, who had recently won in Paris and at Wimbledon, to lift her first Canadian title. She hammered Kazuko Sawamatsu of Japan in the semis 60 61 and Julie Heldman, the 1965 winner, 60 63 in the final. Chrissie’s sister Jeanne had fallen one match short of making it an Evert sisters final by losing to Heldman 61 75 in the semis. The Evert sisters did make it to the doubles final but went down to Gail Sherriff-Chanfreau and Heldman 63 64.

From 1975-79, the event went through a big slump because most of the top players in the world had committed to World Team Tennis (WTT). In 1975, Margaret Court did return, however, as did the previous year’s beaten finalist Julie Heldman. Both fell in the quarter finals, Court to Dianne Fromholtz 63 36 62 and Heldman to Linky Boshoff 64 57 64. The two giant killers were themselves upset in the semis and Marcie Louie beat Lara Dupont 61 46 64. Court did win the doubles, though, teaming up with Julie Anthony to defeat JoAnne Russell and Jane Stratton 62 64.

Top seed in 1976 was Sue Barker, who went out tamely to Cynthia Sieler-Doerner 63 62 in the quarter final. In the other quarter finals there was a strong Eastern European presence and plenty of drama. Regina Marsikova lost to Jausovec 67 76 75 after having had match points and Virginia Ruzici beat holder Dupont 64 26 76, coming back from 1-5 down in the thrid. Lesley Hunt beat Kathy May 60 60 to claim the other semi final place. Jausovec defeated Ruzici 76 61 to reach the final and then disposed of Lesley Hunt 62 60, who was doubtless feeling the effects of a marathon semi against Doerner which she had won 75 57 76 after saving match points. Sieler-Doerner and Janet Newberry won the doubles.

In 1977, for the third year running, the top seed (Rosie Casals) was ousted in the quarter finals. Casals lost to Marise Kruger 64 75, who went on to beat Jeanne Evert 63 61 in the semis. In the other half of the draw, Regina Marsikova emerged to face Kruger in the final. Marsikovawon that match 64 46 63. The doubles title went to Ilana Kloss and Linky Boshoff, who beat Wimbledon Champions Helen Gourlay-Cawley and JoAnne Russell 62 63. Marsikova retained her title in 1978 with a tight win over Ruzici 75 67 62. Marsikova teamed up with Teeguarden to beat Paula Smith and Chris O’Neil, who several months later was to win the Australian Open, 57 64 62.

The 1979 title was won by Laura Dupont, who beat South African Brigitte Cuypers 64 67 61 in the final. Neither they, nor the other six quarter-finalists (Lea Antonoplis, Diane Desfor, Kay McDaniel, Pam Teeguarden, Chris O’Neil and Mary Carillo) would make the top 25 at the end of the year. Chris O’Neil, partnering Mimi Wikstedt, made it two final defeats in succession in the doubles, going down to Antonoplis and Evers 26 61 63.


1980-1989

As part of the restructuring of the tour, it was decided to split the men’s and women’s events starting from 1981 and alternate between Toronto, where the event had been held throughout the open era, and Montreal. To prepare the way, it was decided to stage two events in 1980: a small event in Montreal as well as the official Canadian Open in Toronto. As part of the makeover, the WTA elevated the women’s event to top status, as the demise of WTT meant that the top players would return to the summer tournament circuit. The prize money for the event had been $30K in 1975 and $35K from 1976-9 but in 1980, it jumped to $150K and the purse for the Montreal event, which Navratilova won by beating Greer Stevens 62 61 in the final,was $100K.


The 1980 field reflected the upgraded status of the event. Majors winners Evert, Navratilova, Goolagong-Cawley and Ruzici were there as well as Regina Marsikova, two time defending champion and Laura Dupont, the winner in 1975. Turnbull was seeded 4 and Mandlikova, Shriver and Jaeger were there as well. The tournament was full of upsets: Marsikova was beaten in the opening round by veteran Betty Stove, Navratilova was forced to retire in her second match leading 5-4 against Anne Smith with both illness and injury problems, Turnbull went out to unseeded Pam Shriver 67 63 62 in the last 16 and Cawley went out to Kathy Jordan 76 60 in the quarter finals. The remaining qf matches all went to three sets: Ruzici beat Anne Smith 63 36 63, Evert-Lloyd came through against Mandlikova 36 61 62 and Andrea Jaeger lost to Shriver 06 64 75. Ruzici beat Jordan 60 63 to set up a final encounter with Evert, who had defeated Shriver 64 75. As in all their previous meetings – and all their future ones, too - it was Evert who emerged victorious, sweeping Ruzici aside 63 61 to claim her second Canadian title en route to her 5th US Open crown. In the doubles, Marsikova had better luck in the doubles, retaining the title she had won 12 months earlier, this time with Jaeger and beating Ann Kiyomura and Betsy Nagelsen 61 63.

Another prize money hike – to $200K – ensured an equally strong field the following year in Toronto. The quarter final line-up was as strong as that in any major. Evert beat Mandlikova 63 76, Jaeger beat Fairbank (who had put out Turnbull) 26 62 62, Navratilova beat Hanika 75 64 and Austin beat Shriver 62 75. The quarter final match between Pam Shriver and Tracy Austin has entered into tennis legend because of the fireworks that followed it. As Tracy approached the net to shake hands, Pam allegedly called her “a piece of fucking shit, bitch!” Pam claimed her outburst had been provoked by Tracy’s smirk and later apologised. In the semis, Lloyd had to come from behind to beat Jaeger 46 61 62 and Tracy Austin in only her 5th tournament of the year, gave notice of her pre-us Open form by beating Martina Navratilova (76 64) and Chris Evert 61 64 to lift the 1981 title. Evert’s poor form in the tournament, according to some, was attributable to a death threat she received. The doubles was won by Navratilova and Shriver over Candy Reynolds and Anne Smith 76 76.

1982 saw Martina Navratilova win her first Canadian Open, downing Hana Mandlikova (seeded 4) 62 75 in the semi and Andrea Jaeger (seeded 3) in the final 63 75. The event was staged for the first time at Jarry Park, Montreal, and contained all the top players with the exception of Chris Evert.and Pam Shriver. 2nd seeded Austin withdrew injured and Billie Jean King, in her first ever Canadian Open at the ripe old age of 38, retired in her first match at 46 63 31 rtd to Iva Budarova. Navratilova teamed up with Candy Reynolds to beat Barbara Potter and Sharon Walsh 64 64 in the doubles final.

With Austin out with injuries, all the top players competed in 1983. Navratilova (#1) beat Evert (#2) 64 46 61 in the final. It was the only set Evert would take from Navratilova that year. #3 seed Jaeger was upset by #5 seed Mandlikova 63 62 in the quarter finals before Mandlikova went down to Navratilova 61 75. Evert beat unseeded Burgin 62 60 in the other semi. 4th seed Sylvia Hanika went out to Kathy Jordan 46 76 64 in the round of 16. Andrea jaeger won her second Canadian doubles title partnering Anne Hobbs to beat Ros Fairbank and Candy Reynolds 64 57 75. It was to be Jaeger’s last doubles title on the tour.

With the two-time defending champion absent from the field in 1984, Chris Evert beat Alycia Moulton 62 76 (3) to capture her third Canadian Open in 1985. The unseeded Moulton was a surprise but earned her place by eliminating second seed Hana Mandlikova 75 26 75 in the round of 32. Kathy Jordan and Liz Smylie bt Claudia Kohde-Kilsch and Hana Mandlikova 61 62 in a one-sided doubles final. Evert notched up her 4th Canadian Open ( a post-1945 record) in 1985 beating 3rd seed Mandlikova 36 62 64 in the semis and Claudia Kohde-Kilsch 62 64 in the final. Kohde-Kilsch had beaten #4 Sukova 64 64 in the semis and had caused the shock of the summer by inflicting a quarter-final defeat on Navratilova 36 64 63. That was one of only 4 defeats Martina suffered that year.Gigi Fernandez and Navratilova beat Marcella Mesker and Pascale Paradis 64 60 to lift the doubles crown.

Lacking the top four women in the world –Navratilova, Evert, Mandlikova and Graf, the 1986 edition was one of the least star-studded in the 80s. It was won by Helena Sukova (2), who beat Pam Shriver (1) 62 75 in the title match. Zina Garrison and Gaby Sabatini beat the singles finalists Sukova and Shriver 76 (2) 57 64 to win the doubles. Shriver also scuppered top-seeded Chris Evert’s attempts to make it five Canadian Opens and claim the post-1918 record outright the following year. Pam Shriver beat Chrissie 64 61 in the semi final. Her opponent in the 1987 final was not second seeded Hana Mandlikova, who had gone out to Barbara Potter 64 64 in the last 16 but #5 Zina Garrison and Pam won that match 64 61. Garrison gained some consolation by partnering Lori McNeil to a 57 75 64 win in the doubles final over Kohde-Kilsch and Sukova.

The 1988 edition in Montreal produced a string of upsets. Natasha Zvereva repeated her Roland Garros shocker with a 61 64 win over top-seeded Navratilova. She then followed up with a 75 63 win over two-time defending champ Pam Shriver. Gabriela Sabatini beat Lori McNeil 63 63 and Evert 64 63 to set up an entirely unexpected final, which Sabatini won over Zvereva 61 62. Helena Sukova and Jana Novotna beat Garrison and Shriver 76 (2) 76 (6) in the doubles.

In 1989, with third seeded Chris Evert playing her penultimate tournament before retirement and Navratilova as top seed, one last dream encounter seemed a possibility. However, Chris Evert’s last visit as a player to Canada was short-lived as Anne Minter beat her in straight sets 64 75 in the round of 32. Defending Champion and #2 seed Sabatini was ousted by Sanchez 36 75 63 in the semis before Navratilova won her third and last Canadian title with a 62 62 victory over Arantxa in the final. In the doubles, Gigi Fernandez and Robin White beat Navratilova and Savchenko 61 75

1990-99

Prize money for the 1990 tournament jumped from its 88-9 $300K level to $500K. The main beneficiary was a new champion, Steffi Graf. On her first visit to the Canadian Open, Steffi beat Zvereva 60 64, Tauziat 62 62 and Katerina Maleeva 61 67(6) 63 to win the title. The expected final did not occur as Gabriela Sabatini, having beaten 14 year-old Jennifer Capriati 36 61 64 in the qf, went down to Maleeva 63 64 in the semis. Betsy Nagelsen and Gabriela beat Canadian Helen Kelesi and Raffaella Reggi 36 62 62 in the doubles.

The top four seeds all reached semis in 1991 but it was the number 3 Capriati and the number 4 Katerina Maleeva who made it to the final, with Capriati winning 62 63. Both semi finals had ended in retirements: Katerina benefited from the retrirement of her older sister Manuela 64 10 rtd and Capriati went through when Sabatini retired while trailing 46 32. Larisa Savchenko and Natasha Zvereva beat Kohde-Kilsch and Sukova 16 75 62 in a see-saw doubles final.

The following year, 1992, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario claimed the first of her two Canadian Open titles with a 63 46 64 victory over Monica Seles, appearing for the first time at the event. 3 seed Mary Joe Fernandez and 4 seed Manuela Fragnière had been upset in the quarters by Sukova and McNeil respectively. McNeil and Stubbs upset Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva in an equally close doubles final 36 75 75.

Steffi Graf defeated Jennifer Capriati 61 06 63 to win her second Canadian title in 1993. Capriati, seeded 6, had beaten second favourite and defending champion Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario 76 (8 )62 in the semi final. Sabatini had gone out on a third set tiebreak to Halard in the last 16. Larisa Savchenko-Neiland andf Jana Novotna thrashed Sanchez and Sukova 61 62 in the doubles final. The Graf-Sanchez final which had been expected in 1993 finally happened a year later after Graf had disposed of Pierce 63 64 and Sanchez had beaten Date 26 61 62 in the semi finals. In a dress-rehearsal of the 1994 US Open final, Arantxa upset Steffi 75 16 76 (4) in a nail-biting three-setter. Meredith McGrath and Sanchez came from behind to beat veterans Shriver and Smylie 26 62 64 in the doubles.

In the most publicised non-grand slam tournament of the season, Monica Seles made her return to competitive play at the Canadian Open in 1995 and what a return it was. As she had been co-seeded #1 with arch-rival Steffi Graf, the prospect of a Graf-Seles final was at least a theoretical possibility. In addition, the latest teenage phenomena, Martina Hingis and Venus Williams were in town. Venus was ousted 64 76 by Sabine Appelmans in the first round and Hingis, after scraping past Testud on a third set tie-break and trouncing Labat 61 62, was double-bagelled by 5th seeded Mary Pierce in the last 16. It was Graf, not Seles, however, who failed to keep her appointment with destiny as she fell in the round of 32 to Amanda Coetzer in a match which went to the wire, ending 36 62 76 (6). Graf won as many games in that match as Seles conceded during the entire tournament, sweeping past Po, Tauziat, Huber, Sabatini and Coetzer (60 61) for the loss of just 14 games. In the doubles final, Sabatini and Brenda Schultz outlasted the 14-year-old Hingis and 18-year-old Majoli 46 60 63.

Seles defended her title in 1996 with a straight sets win over Sanchez 61 76 (2). The tournament was notable for the return of Jennifer Capriati, who beat Irina Spirlea 64 62 and Lori McNeil 76 75 before retiring to Maggie Maleeva at 26 23 in last 16. Sanchez and Neiland won the doubles title with a 76 (1) 61 win over MJ Fernandez and Helena Sukova. Seles made it three in a row in 97 with a routine 62 64 final victory over Anke Huber. Majoli, who was expected to reach the final, lost her opening match 75 67 61 to Sawamatsu. In the doubles final, Yayuk Basuki and Caroline Vis upended Nicole Arendt and Manon Bollegraf 36 75 64.

Although Monica Seles’ path to victory had been relatively easy the previous year, she won a record fourth consecutive title at the Canadian Open the hard way in 1998. Seeded 5, Monica beat #4 Huber 63 64 in the quarter finals, #1 Hingis 46 63 62 in the semis and #3 Sanchez 63 62 in the final, after Sanchez had put out second seeded Novotna 46 76 62 in her semi final. Steffi Graf, #7 seed, went out in the last 16 to Spaniard Magui Serna. Hingis teamed up with Novotna to beat defending champions Basuki and Vis 63 64 in the doubles final. Monica’s quest for a 5th consecutive Canadian Open failed at the last hurdle when she fell in the 1999 final to Martina Hingis 64 64. As in the previous year, Hingis and Novotna were top seeds but Novotna fell to Sugiyama in the last 16, who then fell to unheralded Frenchwoman Anne Gaëlle Sidot.in the quarters. Hingis’ 76 63 victory over #3 Mary Pierce and Seles’ win over Sidot 63 64 semi finals. Novotna retained her doubles title with Pierce by beating Neiland and Sanchez 63 26 63


2000-04

The 2000 edition of the Open saw Martina Hingis record a somewhat hollow victory over an injured Serena Williams 06 63 30 retired to retain the title she had won the previous year. The Spanish veterans Martinez (lost 36 26) Sanchez (lost 26 46) proved no match for Martina and Serena respectively. Hingis did the double, partnering Tauziat to beat Halard and Sugiyama 63 36 64. Serena had to wait 12 months before finally lifting the trophy in 2001. She did so in style, beating Seles 75 76 (5) and Capriati 61 67(7) 63 in back-to-back wins. Seles had battled past second favourite Hénin 16 62 62 to reach her semi-final. Kimberly Po and Nicole Pratt beat Krizan and Katarina Srebotnik 63 61 to win the doubles.

The 2002 tournament was decimated by withdrawals, upsets and injuries. The top seed withdrew, third seed Jelena Dokic 3 seed retired when trailing 76 40 to Capriati in semis and 4th seeded Clijsters was upset 64 64 by Barbara Schett in last 16. In what was to be her last year on the tour, Martina Hingis, seeded as low as #6, was dismissed 64 63 by Dokic in the quarters. The two players left standing on finals day were Amélie Mauresmo (#7) who beat Capriati (#2) 64 61 to lift the title for the first time. Doubles supremos Ruano-Pascual and Suarez won the doubles crown over Fujiwara and Sugiyama 64 76 (3).

In the absence of the Willams sisters, it was expected that the Belgians Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters would battle it out for the 2003 title. While Henin kept her side of the bargain, Clijsters crashed out to Russian Lina Krasnoroutskaya 16 64 61 in the last 16. Elena Dementieva beat number 3 seed Mauresmo in the quarter final before surrendering to Hénin 63 67 (5) 62. Fittingly, Krasnoroutskaya made it all the way to the final, edging past Suarez 64 46 75 in the semi but was then swept aside by Hénin 61 60. In the doubles, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Martina Navratilova beat Vento-Kabchi and Widjaja 36 61 61.


The 2004 Canadian Open was one tournament where the Russians didn't clean up. The top 8 seedings included French Open winner Myskina (#1) and finalist Dementieva (#4), Wimbledon champ Sharapova (#6) and nadia Petrova (#8) but all fell early. It was another Russian, Elena Likhovtseva who put out Myskina in the semis and former champion and #5 Jennifer Capriati in the quarters to make the final against #2 seed Amélie Mauresmo. The Frenchwoman won back the title she had first clinched two years earlier with a crushing 61 60 victory over Likhovtseva in the final. The doubles title went to Sugiyama and Asagoe with a 60 63 victory over Liezel Huber and Tamarine Tanasugarn.

ezekiel Aug 16th, 2005 04:31 AM

Wow,That's impressive :worship:
I didn't know all of that

ceiling_fan Aug 16th, 2005 09:22 AM

cool thanx!

Jem Aug 16th, 2005 12:53 PM

Thanks, Andy. What a nice stroll down memory lane!

martirogi Aug 18th, 2005 04:40 AM

myskina and hingis :inlove:


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