I love the ATP Masters 1000. They’re a genius idea: you make a set number of events mandatory for the top guys, you dump a ton of money on them, and then you sit back and enjoy the fireworks.
2012 wasn’t a historically great season for the M1000s, but they still managed to influence the various storylines that defined men’s tennis this year. For example, the M1000s played a key role in Federer’s return to the No. 1 ranking. Had Federer not managed to pull out the Indian Wells and Madrid titles, his quest to pass Sampras’ record of all-time weeks at the top of the rankings would’ve surely ended in failure, even with his Wimbledon win. Nadal finally broke his seven-final losing streak to Djokovic by beating the Serb in Montecarlo, and started a streak of his own by repeating the feat in Rome and then in the French Open Final. The M1000s also provided Novak Djokovic the chance to get re-acquainted with his 2011 self when he stared down five match points in Shanghai. Djokovic’s successful Houdini act there was definitely the springboard for his success at the 02 in London a few weeks later, and the clincher for the year-end No. 1 ranking. I could literally go on and on and on.
So, how about ranking the 2012 editions of these wonderful tournaments, and point out some of their highs and lows? Like the embattled José Mourinho would say, why not?
The Good: If there was a M1000 Yearbook at the end of each season, Paris would routinely get voted “Most Likely To Be Dropped”. By the time this tournament rolls in, the season is not even on its last legs: it’s lying dead with vultures circling around. However, Paris was bailed out this year by a truly unexpected event: Jerzy Janowicz‘ fantastic run to the final. The young Pole had to play two rounds of qualies just to make the main draw, where he then proceeded to dump two top 10 players (Murray and Tipsarevic), and a few top 20 players (Kohlschreiber, Cilic, and Simon), before running out of gas against an in-form David Ferrer in the final. Janowicz’ booming serves, blistering forehands, and insane drop shots single-handedly infused this M1000 with life, and made it a treat to follow from beginning to end. Also, David Ferrer finally won his first M1000 – something that was long overdue. The Spaniard’s performance was simply outstanding all week, particularly in the semis against a white-hot Llodra and in the final against the fearless youngster.
The Bad: You could easily point out to the absence of half of the Big Four before the tournament started (Federer pulled out after losing the Basel final to Del Potro, a good move, since there wasn’t a week of rest between Paris and the World Tour Finals this year, and Nadal was still out injured). Then, the rest of the Big Four disappeared pretty quickly: Novak Djokovic lost in his first match against Querrey, and Murray lost in just his second outing. Normally, this would spell disaster for a tournament (and Guy Forget, Tournament Director, looked appropriately distressed), but instead it allowed for Janowicz’ coming-out party to roll on, and provided a golden opportunity for Ferrer. Oh, but there was a bad thing about Paris: Janko Tipsarevic’s pathetic retirement during his quarterfinal match against Janowicz. It happened when Tipsarevic was getting thoroughly dismantled by the tall Pole, 4-1 in the deciding set. The match was about 10 minutes from being over, yet Tipsarevic pulled the plug citing some sort of vague discomfort. The next week, Tipsarevic played all three of his matches at the World Tour Finals.
The Random: Novak Djokovic started his second round match with Sam Querrey by winning the first eight games of the match. He then lost the second set in a tiebreaker, and the third 6-4 to an inspired Querrey. Also, the World No. 1 continued his strange tradition of coming on court wearing some sort of mask, by donning Darth Vader’s head.
2. Indian Wells
The Good: John Isner arrived to the top 10 in style – by beating the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a dramatic third set tiebreaker in the semis. This would mark the end of what we may end up calling “Isner’s Prime”: a few weeks earlier the man from Greensboro, North Carolina had beaten Roger Federer 1) in Switzerland 2) in Davis Cup 3) in four sets 4) ON CLAY. Unfortunately for him, Federer was waiting in the final, and the world’s leading champagne spokesman was ready for revenge.
The Bad: The weather hindered the Federer-Nadal semifinal, but by far the worst thing about Indian Wells was the unforgivable mistake by the schedulers, who early on in the tournament completely forgot to schedule David Ferrer’s match with Denis Istomin. They literally forgot about the fifth-best player on the planet. Shame on you, Indian Wells. I thought about demoting you at least a couple of spots for this.
The Random: The above qualifies for the random category as well, but we have these other fun entries: Almagro bageled Berdych. Given their head-to-head, that seems wildly surprising, as is Almagro pulling out a great result on hard courts. Also, Pablo Andújar somehow made the Round of 16. Once there, he proceeded to take a set off Djokovic … right after getting bageled.
The Good: Djokovic and Murray put together the best M1000 final of the year. The quality of the match was absurdly high right from the start, and right until Djokovic broke Murray in the third set. In between, Djokovic saved not one, not two, but five match points, four of them in spectacular fashion. In a way, Djokovic and Murray played the match that they should have played in Flushing Meadows; then, they were derailed by the nightmarish wind. So if you haven’t seen this Shanghai final, give it a chance. It was incredible.
The Bad: For Shanghai, this was the usual complaint: very sparse crowds for the early rounds. Seriously, Shanghai. Give away the tickets. Invite entire schools to the tournament. Do anything except what you’re currently doing: having the worlds’ best players showcase their extremely rare abilities in front of mostly empty seats.
The Random: Once people did start showing up to the matches, they developed the very strange habit of rooting for an outcome during challenges. If Federer challenged a shot of his that landed out, the crowd would chant “In! In! In! In!” If Djokovic challenged a shot by Murray that was called in, the audience would roar “Out! Out! Out! Out!” It was tacky, and it was bizarre. Cut it out, Shanghai.
The Good: The four best clay courters met in the semifinals, which was fitting (they would also meet each other in the semifinals of the French Open a few weeks later in the exact same configuration: Djokovic played Federer, while Nadal battled his countryman Ferrer). Apart from that, Andreas Seppi’s triple tiebreak extragavanza against Stan Wawrinka was probably the biggest highlight of men’s Italian tennis of the past few years. Also, I hear Nadal-Berdych was a lot of fun.
The Bad: The semifinals didn’t really deliver, and neither did the odd Monday final. In retrospect, maybe I remember Rome so fondly because it showed what a proper clay M1000 should look like, after the Madrid fiasco the week before.
The Random: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Juan Martín Del Potro 4 and 1. Not sure how that happened. Maybe Jo-Willy crushed an insect at some point during the first set, which surely sent Del Po into a sadness-filled tailspin.
The Good: It was better than Toronto? Not that it was terribly difficult to achieve that. But the field was a lot better, and a marquee match-up in the final at least rendered one decent set of tennis.
The Bad: Besides Djokovic’s “performance” in the first set of the final (in which he got bageled) not much went wrong in Cincinnati. Yet nobody besides Roger Federer will remember this particular M1000 as anything other than an unremarkable detour on the way to the US Open.
The Random: Jeremy Chardy somehow beat Andy Murray 4 and 4. It actually happened. Stan Wawrinka beat David Ferrer 4 and 1. Also, Novak Djokovic, one of the great hard court players of this era, made the Cincinnati final for the fourth time in the last five years. He’s lost every single time. Not only that: the five-time Grand Slam winner and 13-time M1000 winner hasn’t managed to take a single set in any of those finals. He’s won Indian Wells twice, Miami and Canada three times. Cincinnati? Never. I have nothing.
The Good: Andy Roddick managed to get only his third win over Roger Federer in another magical Miami night session. It was a fun match, and serves as probably the last highlight in Roddick’s illustrious career.
The Bad: When I was trying to remember how the semifinals in Miami went, I drew a blank. I had no idea who Murray played (the answer was: nobody – Nadal withdrew before the match) or who Djokovic had to beat (it was none other than Juan Mónaco). Also, the final got a lot of buzz, because Djokovic and Murray had played such an incredible semifinal in Australia. The sequel was a dud (actually, as Israel TennisResults points out, the real sequel to the Australian Open semifinal between Djokovic and Murray took place a few weeks earlier, in the Dubai semifinals. Sadly, that match was also a dud).
The Random: Novak Djokovic played David Ferrer in the quarters (nothing random here) and then … Juan Mónaco in the semis. Juan. Mónaco. On a hardcourt. In a M1000 semifinal.
7. Monte Carlo
The Good: Rafael Nadal achieved what will surely go down as the craziest M1000 fact ever: he won his eighth (!!!) straight Monte Carlo trophy. Winning any tournament eight straight times is ridiculous in an of itself, but winning a M1000 eight straight times? Not a whole lot of people have won eight M1000 titles in their careers! I feel like not much has been made of this, which is absurd. Eight straight Monte Carlos!
The Bad: For some strange reason, the historic and aristocratic tournament failed to identify a serious problem with the center court surface, and it cost three people (someone I can’t remember from the qualies, Mónaco and Benneteau) time away from the sport due to injuries sustained by running into the problematic spot. Benneteau’s injury was particularly gruesome. This court problem was totally avoidable, so shame on you, Prince Albert. Also, the final was as anticlimactic as they get. Novak Djokovic’s grandfather had passed away earlier in the week, and while the Serb battled through to make the final, he didn’t seem to have any emotional reserves by the time he faced a very determined Nadal, which was unfortunate, given that the last time these two played each other they partook in the longest Slam final ever.
The Random: Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga played for a spot in the semis, and noted clay master Gilles Simon won. Also, Thomaz Bellucci somehow beat David Ferrer in straight sets. You read that correctly.
The Good: Hmm …. the good. What was good about Toronto? I have no idea. It felt like a 500, which is about the worst thing you can possibly say about a M1000.
The Bad: No difficulty finding bad things about poor Toronto: the scheduling took out the top guys (Federer withdrew before the start, Murray withdrew after one match, and Del Potro lost in his opener). Then you have the rain that wrecked havoc all week. Not satisfied by that, the tournament ended with what was probably one of the two worst finals of the year. Not a great year for the usually fantastic Canada Masters. We’ll blame it on the Olympics.
The Random: Richard Gasquet made a M1000 final! The self-proclaimed top-15 player found himself at the exact same stage he reached in 2006, when people still thought the erratic Frenchman could mix it up with Federer and Nadal. Six years ago, Gasquet played well enough to take the first set in a rout before falling in three to Federer. This year was the opposite: the final lasted all of 62 minutes. And really, that feels about half an hour too long.
The Good: The best thing about Madrid this year was that the ATP acted swiftly (which happens all the time, right?) and deemed the blue “clay” to be so inadequate that it was henceforth banned from the tour. A surface got BANNED! Take a bow, Mr. Ion Tiriac!
The Bad: Madrid was turned into a tasteless reality show when the geniuses behind the blue “clay” laid out a surface that had everybody slipping away (and lest not we forget, was so terrible that it got banned). If you listened during the points, it sounds like the players are trying to find their way around sand. When the season’s two best clay courters in the world (and at the time, the top two ranked males) openly say that if the horrid surface returns in 2013 they would both skip the tournament, you know you’ve screwed up. Big time. Again, take a bow Ion Tiriac!
The Random: Ferdando Verdasco beat Rafael Nadal. He was 0-13 heading in. Nadal had a 5-2 lead in the third. This was not 2009 Fernando Verdasco. It was 2012 Fernando Verdasco. ‘Nuff said.
Judge that Madrid match between Fer and Rafa Juan.. Judge it hard. also famous for a Rafa failSmash. because you know? BLUE CLAY.. no. that was a classic Rafa choke. unless Rafa and Nole had a Rome date planned ahead of time and left together. Nole lost on the same day?
But the Madrid matches between Federer and Milos/Berdych were pretty awesome. Except when Berdych um.. Berdyched in the end.
P.S. Bad weather didn’t ruin the Fedal Indian Wells Semis. Rafa not handling the wind ruined it. Yes yes. I know. Rafan blaming Rafa = bad Rafan. I shall be all Vika here and say “I don’t care.”
I didn’t mind the lack of big 4 at Paris. After all we still had #5 in the final 🙂 and we discovered Jerzy.
interesting Monte Carlo Rafact: in 2003, he beat Albert Costa in R2 when Costa was the defending FO champion. Yea. We all got the clue. The highlights are on Youtube! I think MC in particular just responds to Rafa’s game. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DP0b5-8DWU
I like that Novak took the opportunity at Rogers Cup to sort of regain himself after his Olympics disappointment. As for Cincinnati, he just has bad luck with Cincy finals. 3 times now? Roger vs Mardy was quite an exciting match. worth a mention.
Rome is my favorite tournament this year as a Rafan. For 2 reasons. Rafastats during the Berdy match. 36 winners to 10 unforced errors. And some amazingly aggressive tennis. I would have said 3 and included Semis vs Ferrer. But when Rafa got the mini break right at the end in the first set TB, it felt like Ferrer had no will left. And weirdly enough, in the final, the surface played exactly like RG. slightly faster, slightly slicker. So when Rafa won (albeit one disgusting linecall against Nole at the worst time in the first set), I genuinely hoped for the RG win. I guess, I’m glad I didn’t miss a beat seeing as soon after, Rafa took a break from tennis for a duration too long.
I don’t talk about Miami much because, if nightmares came true, that is what the QF between Rafa and Tsonga was. NIGHTMARE. Speaking of nightmares, I wonder if Andy Murray can ever forget his 5 match points in Shanghai.
*re-reads comment. satisfied that the Rafandom is obvious* LOL
That was one epic comment, Mithi! To properly address everything, I’ll just add stuff under each topic:
The bits and pieces I saw of it were awful. Also, I think Djokovic lost the day after Nadal imploded, since he won one more match than him.
I had completely forgotten about the Raonic-Federer match. Raonic was so close…yet so far away. That was indeed a good match. Kind of like an old-school grass court battle, no? Big serves, few rallies. And yes, Berdych Berdyched in the final. That was vintage.
That’s exactly what AmyLu said, so I trust you both. What I find weird is that Nadal won the 2009 IW final in blistering wind. He put up a masterclass in how to play in those conditions.
My theory is that while everybody else needs a few weeks to adapt to moving on clay and thinking about point construction, Nadal takes about 10 minutes. Everything he does is just so natural on that surface, and it eases the transition from the hard courts of the 2 US M1000s.
Djokovic’s inability to close the deal in Cincinnati is a mystery. Yes, in 2011 he tweaked his back, but he really has no excuses for the other three. Was in good health, playing well leading in. Laid an egg in all three.
I always enjoy Rome. The fast clay is an awesome surface for the big guys, and it always seems to bring out the best in Nadal and Djokovic. There have been some truly epic matches in Rome in recent years. Rome might be faster than IW, Miami and Paris, I think.
I’m very curious to see how Murray handles the Australian Open after his strange post-US Open results. He was booted from three tournaments in a row when he had match points (Raonic in Tokio, Djokovic in Shanghai, Janowicz in Paris). I think Tokio was easier to take, but Shanghai had to hurt. And Murray really faded in that WTF semi vs Federer. Who knows, that Shanghai final might have a huge impact for both guys in 2013.
Nole’s mask tradition in Paris isn’t random! He does it on Halloween, which tends to occur during Paris, since… that’s the way the calendar works.
Also, this year’s edition of Indian Wells turned to Indi-Unwells with that p̶l̶a̶g̶u̶e̶ virus…
You are very right, Anna! It’s not REALLY random…but it’s still a little weird, no? I think he should come out with masks in every first round of the M1000s.
I had also forgotten about the Indian Wells virus. That was mightily unfortunate.
Thanks for a great write-up. This season’s tournaments feel like one crazy cartwheel with so many storylines, it’s hard to believe all of it happened this year – I remember thinking after the Nadal – Verdasco Madrid match that nothing would surprise me anymore – Oh ye of little faith! So thank you, tennis rollercoaster operators, for the Shanghai final and Paris, they made this Rafafan ridiculously happy – a half-fortotten emotion in 2012.
I’m glad you liked it, Jesna! I completely agree with your post. Even in a year that didn’t seem like a great one for the M1000s, so many things happened in those ten weeks. Can’t wait for the 2013 editions!
The Shanghai and Paris tournaments were my favorite M1000s of the year by a good distance. That said, the Paris M1000 seriously needs to be moved to a more convenient date. It’s kind of fun to have a tournament that has a reputation for producing surprise winners, but it’s not as much fun if the top seeds can’t even get any momentum/energy going and the tournament directors can’t count on a Ferrer-Janowicz combo to salvage it every time.
I couldn’t agree more with you about Paris, Ophelia. There was a lot of talk about moving it to the beginning of the year – which makes sense – but it doesn’t seem that any decision was made about it. That doesn’t surprise me: moving a M1000 can’t be an easy thing.
I shudder when I think about what Paris would’ve been like without Janowicz. Maybe a repeat of the 2006 disaster? http://www.atpworldtour.com/Share/Event-Draws.aspx?e=352&y=2006
Another random thing about Cincinnati: It was there that Federer became the first person ever to win a Masters 1000 (or equivalent) tournament without dropping serve once or losing a set. File that under the category “Huh. Didn’t know that was a thing.”
no, it was the 1st time that the 2 top ranked guys reached the F without dropping serve..
Thanks for that, Henk. And I just remembered that Djokovic was also on this crazy streak of not getting broken…but fending off an sizable amount of break points.
If Federer reached the final without dropping serve, he did win the tournament without dropping serve – Djokovic didn’t even create a single break point chance in the final.
I like the colour blue (and yes I spell it with the letter U, I am Canadian!) and hence, I enjoyed the blue clay of Madrid. Fed/Raonic, for me, was the best match of the tourney. Couldn’t stand the whining form Novak/Rafa over the blue stuff. Taking your ball and going home, when things don’t go your way, is just childish. Yes, the surface wasn’t up to snuff as they admitted to it after the tourney had ended, but they also knew why it wasn’t which means they would have had a better blue clay surface for the following year. I am thinking Rafa would still have a problem with this since the clay would still be blue. His annoying behaviour at this tourney even led me to a poetic side of me that I never knew existed which is also why I thought this was the best M1000 of the year.
Ahem…..Clay was once red, Clay is now blue, Rafa don’t like it, boo freaking hoo. I know, I know, genius, right?
Agree, on the Toronto event. Just horrible weather and it being an Olympic year just killed it from a scheduling point of view.
The other Masters events didnt wow me. In fact, overall, I would say this was a down year for the Masters series of events for me. Still hold out hope, that they will cram in a M1000 on grass though.
Enjoy the holidays everyone and all the best in the New Year!
Thanks for that, Greekster…or should I say, Mr. Ion Tiriac?
Just kidding. What I don’t get about the blue “clay” is the obsession with the color blue, as if it were a color that is never seen on a tennis court. I swear, at least half of the hard court tournaments in the world are on a blue surface. How original to turn a red court blue!
If Tiriac wanted to be radical, he should have had a yellow court and played with a red ball, and pay tribute to Spain. However, Spain doesn’t really sponsor Madrid: Mutua Madrileña does – and that company’s logo is indeed blue.
Happy holidays and happy new year to you, too!
1. Indian Wells – IMO, was basically Isner’s last stand to be an elite player but faded after winning over Tsonga and Simon in Monte Carlo playing Davis Cup. Federer found a way to win that first set tiebreak then basically cruised in the second set.
2. Miami – Roddick’s upset win over a fatigued Federer, who won Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells, then faded the next day against Monaco. In the final set against Federer, Roddick swung for the fences to break Federer early in the set where Federer came to the net for unknown reasons and got passed
3. Monte Carlo – Will 8 be enough for Nadal going to 2013?
4. Madrid – Federer ended up being the blue clay king surviving 3 set battles against Raonic and Berdych
5. Rome- Business as usual as Djokovic and Nadal made the final while Nadal ended up making another statement against Djokovic
6. Toronto – Joke of a M1000 where Djokovic ended up a hero for that tournament
7. Cincinnati – For all the talk that this tournament is tough, Federer makes it 5
8. Shanghai – Djokovic used this title to springboard to the top
9. Paris – Congraulations to Ferrer for finally winning a Masters and in the process became the first Spainard to win there.
That’s a great run down, Master Ace – and in impressive chronological order!
Toronto, Cincy and Paris all got hurt by scheduling this year in various different ways.
To my knowledge the players were never keen on blue clay and felt that their wishes had been over-ridden by the ATP. So there was a lot of simmering resentment even before the tournament started, which may explain some of the vehemence. Both Rafa & Djokovic, as the main but not the only antis, said they would try to do their best on it. I can’t see any reason not to believe them. For all the charges of selfishness, they didn’t do themselves much good by speaking up.
I think the complaints have had at least one positive consequence – the Madrid courts will now stay down all year, IIRC, which should improve the surface for everyone and cut out some of the uneven bounces etc that have always been a problem there.
If you’re going to introduce something new, like blue clay, over the wishes of players, you’d better get the surface right. Not doing so is a huge own goal. I still think we’ll see blue clay again at Tiriac’s new 250 – which of course is where it should’ve been introduced in the first place.
I saw several different explanations for the crap surface at the time, only one of which had to do with the blue colouring. Does anyone know what the final, correct explanation was?
I also personally hated the dead blue colour, especially stuck in the bottom of the hideous Magic Box. It looked like a fish tank. I think it would look much nicer in Monte Carlo. 🙂
Oh yes; almost forgot. Happy Christmas & happy holidays to all. 🙂
Let me tell you the one story I heard that seems to partially make sense.
In order to add blue dye to the clay, they had to remove Iron oxides from it to get the red color off. Because of this, the clay had reduced friction and was much looser (hence the slipperiness). Also, from what I understand, the depth of the clay was ??insufficient or something? That’s why we could hear the sound of the ball hitting the hard surface below the clay.
I’d like to see Tiriac get it right at the 250 event before bombarding the tour with his innovation. But seriously though, kudos to the players who managed to adapt to it. In particular, Milos, Berdy, Delpo and Roger. 🙂
Well – if the first explanation is true, then something about the blue colour was to blame, and therefore, no more blue makes a lot of sense and is pretty much an obvious decision. If it was just mistakes made in the laying of the surface, then there’s no actual reason why a properly laid blue clay couldn’t work. So it would be interesting to know which explanation was right, or if both are, or if there’s a process change that Tiriac could/should make for the future, etc etc.
The blue could’ve been so easily tested at a small tournament and allowed to grow – it would’ve had plenty of publicity, but not quite so much glare. Players and audiences would’ve got used to it gradually, small problems could’ve been ironed out, and Tiriac would’ve had a great case for introducing the blue to Madrid. I know he had a blue practice court last year, but given the player resistance, I think he needed to do more. And I’m still mildly annoyed that the players who complained have ended up taking a hell of a lot more flak than the instigator of an experiment that was both poorly introduced (and the ATP should take some of the blame for that) and poorly executed.
Right, I will shut up about the blue clay now. 🙂
Too right, Jewell. Totally agree with you, especially that last point.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Again, you hit the nail right on the head, Jewell: somehow, Djokovic and Nadal got almost all the flack for Madrid, while Tiriac was hailed as some sort of genius innovator. That’s the most laughable aspect of the entire disaster.
A tournament has a responsibility to the players to lay down a surface that measures up to their standards. If a tournament is smart, it will try and lay the best surface available, so the players can fulfill their end of the bargain and produce wonderful tennis. Ion Tiriac failed horrifically at this essential task. Like you said, it was a poorly introduced and poorly executed experiment. Worst of all, it was on a big stage.
This reminds me of something that happened in the NBA a few years ago. The commissioner, citing some weird environmental “reason”, unilaterally introduced synthetic balls for the start of a season. The players, most of whom were not consulted at all, hated the new ball. The quality of the product suffered, and the synthetic balls were ditched in favor of the traditional leather balls not even a third into the season. It was an epic fail.
Merry Christmas to you, too, Jewell!
I loved everything about your comment, Jewell. It captures all the behind-the-scenes mistakes that resulted in the fiasco that was the 2012 Madrid M1000. And I couldn’t agree more that it would have been better to test something as new as the blue clay on a 250 instead of on one of the crown jewels of the ATP.
Also, you mention correctly that Madrid has been known since its inception for bad bounces, and surely enough that was was due to the fact that the clay was only laid down for the tournament. Madrid 2013 should be better, judging by all the decisions that have been taken after this year.
Madrid did look like a fish tank. It also looked like somebody grabbed a generic hard court and tossed blue sand on it. Such a fail. Like I told Greekster above, I think Tiriac should’ve gone for something truly revolutionary: a yellow court, with red balls. A tacky tribute to Spain, but at least an original one – there are no yellow courts on tour! Maybe if Prosegur (a security company) becomes the title sponsor we’ll see yellow clay – that company’s logo is bright yellow.
On the bad bounces in Madrid, Federer did that classic swing and a miss on match point in 2010 against Nadal.
Toronto really suffered this year…truly unfortunate. Especially since it’s the only major ATP tournament we have. I’m looking forward to 2013 when the Olympics aren’t a factor.
I agree, KD – the Canada Masters is usually a fantastic event. I wonder if they get some sort of compensation during Olympic years, since their event really suffers from the tighter schedule. Especially Toronto, since Montreal will never have that problem. I think 2013 will be great!
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