Although Milos Raonic failed to replicate his runner-up performance at the Rogers Cup last year, his influence on ticket sales spread all the way to the final, with Canadians packing the Rexall Centre to watch the tournament culmination between Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Raonic, who won his second ATP World Tour title last week in the first all-Canadian final in Washington, had difficult three-set matches against Jack Sock and Julien Benneteau before losing in straight sets to Feliciano Lopez in the quarter-final stage of the event. It was an anti-climatic finish to the Canadian’s run at his home tournament but that did not stop fans from filling up Stadium Court for the final two days of action.
“Obviously Milos has been in the news a tremendous amount the past couple of months, had a tremendous impact on sales,” Rogers Cup Tournament Director Karl Hale said. “He’s a Canadian hero, an icon here, so he had a tremendous influence on ticket sales this week.
“I will go around the grounds, so we have fans coming from all over talking about Milos in Toronto here to see him play.”
Hale also showed his appreciation for Eugenie Bouchard, who’s influence on ticket sales in Montreal have been phenomenal as well, even though she was unceremoniously dispatched from the tournament in her opening match. While it was far from her best performance, he still believes the best is yet to come.
“The two players are very young, Milos and Eugenie. I tell everybody the best is yet to come for the two of them at 23 and 20 years old. They have a bright future which also help out tournament and our Davis Cup and Fed Cup in the future, so we are really, really excited about that.”
While Hale’s modesty did not allow him to pat himself on the back for a successful tournament at the helm, he did admit to a sense of pride when watching the patriotic spirit that fans brought to the Stadium when watching the Canadian play.
“We always wished about having stars that are Canadian, so to see the crowds when the Canadians are playing on centre court, with Milos the other night, getting behind him and showing our true patriotic spirit, that’s what makes me really excited to run the tournament.”