Hockey is undoubtedly Canada’s number one national past-time and on Sunday, several WTA players were invited to sample the country’s hugely popular national sport at the 2015 Rogers Cup in Toronto.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Lucie Safarova, Jelena Jankovic & Timea Bacsinszky got to play on a proper hockey rink that was constructed inside the Aviva Tennis Centre center court just for the occasion. With Toronto currently being in the height of summer, the players were not asked to step on ice of course.
Instead, the players were invited to play ball hockey, a variant that is played on carpet instead of ice and with balls instead of pucks. The four WTA ladies were joined by several Canadian NHL stars to form two teams for a 10-minute match.
Despite being Canadian and a big hockey fan herself, Genie Bouchard didn’t join the fun in the rink, but only briefly showed up for a quick photo before the other players had their fun with the hockey sticks.
While Bouchard opted to be one sidelines, the four players enjoyed the experience a lot. Petra Kvitova seemed to have the most fun of all, the Czech world #4 having somewhat of a knowledge advantage because of dating Czech professional hockey player Radek Meidl who might have given the tennis ace some tips on how to handle the hockey stick.
Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games on Sunday as the final round of qualifying was completing while the star players had their fun in the rink.
12 qualifiers will join the 56-player main draw that is due to kick off on Monday, with the evening highlight of Sabine Lisicki versus Venus Williams. While all the top players will enjoy another off-day, all big name players will be expected at the WTA’s All-Access Hour tomorrow.
For full coverage on that and much more, keep checking back to Women’s Tennis Blog.