August 10, 2013

Tennis, Anyone? (With Hockey Tie-ins and Cheryl Tiegs, Of Course)

In what could be the Canadian sports story of the year, Canadians Milos Raonic (the 13th ranked tennis player in the world) and Vasek Pospisil will meet in the semi-final in the Rogers Cup tournament in Montreal.

The semi-final showdown guarantees a Canadian will be in the final match for the first time in tournament history. The previous best showing came way back in 1969 when Mike Belkin reached the semi-finals.

"Two Canadians in the semifinal, one guaranteed to be in the final. It's a historic moment for tennis in Canada," said Pospisil, a Vancouver native.

"I think it means a lot, not just to us, but to Canadian tennis," said Roanic, who grew up in Toronto.

The other semi-final will see top seed and two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia play against fourth seed Rafael Nadal of Spain.

Of course, hockey does have some tennis tie-ins. Most notably there is Jaroslav Drobny, a Czech hockey legend and world champion from the 1940s who even drew interest from the Boston Bruins. He defected to Egypt after the Communist take over following World War II. Needless to say hockey was not too popular in Egypt, so he pursued his other favorite sport. He was so good at Tennis he actually won the men's title at Wimbledon in 1954. Here is the full story.

Hockey has seen a few tennis romances over the years, most notably Pavel Bure and Sergei Fedorov fighting over Anna Kournikova and Alexander Ovechkin courting Maria Kirilenko.

Then there's this photo of Wayne Gretzky and Cheryl Tiegs apparently playing some tennis. I don't think Tiegs knows much about tennis. I also don't think Gretz really cares at that moment.

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