CARABINS Wins the University National Tennis Championships!

Toronto held the first edition of the University and College National Tennis Championships. The Carabins of Université de Montréal (my team) had to face University of Victoria, University of Toronto and Simon Fraser University at the Rexall Center York University.

Carabins Tennis Canadian Champs

During each face-off, 11 matches are played:

  • 3 men’s singles
  • 3 women’s singles
  • 2 men’s doubles
  • 2 women’s doubles
  • 1 mixed doubles

For the last confrontation, after 10 matches against Simon Fraser University, the score was tied at 5-5. Therefore, the mixed doubles was going to be the decisive match. Being a “money player”, I couldn’t imagine a better scenario to conclude this University Canadian championships. It was my last official match as a Carabins, and on the top of that, I had the honor to perform at the Rexall Center during the Rogers Cup. My mixed doubles partner David Trudeau and I accepted the challenge. We gave everything we got. I believe that it is because of our electrifying energy and chemistry that we succeeded to defeat SFU 7-5 6-4.

My mixed doubles partner David Trudeau and me :)

After Dave’s delicious smash on match point, our teammates roared and jumped off their seats. I can’t actually find words to express our joy. We, the Carabins won the first edition of the University National Tennis Championships! We, the Carabins are the BEST University tennis team in Canada!

What an awesome ride it was this past week. I am still on cloud nine, I haven’t lost a match during this year’s university league, not even dropped single a set. What a perfect way to retire from University tennis…

Merci à toute mon équipe

(Patrick Gilbert, Michael Tousignant, Alexandre Vigeant, Olivier Berthiaume, Jean-Philippe Trottier-Hardy, David Trudeau, Céline Wauthier, Catherine Garand, Geneviève Prairie-Caron, Anne-Marie Belleau, Lena Salgado)

Carabins Tennis Canadian Champs

and a big thank you to my super hitting partners who pushed me to train all summer

(Dominic Rossi, Nicolas Charette, Pierre-Jean Robichaud :)

video Carabins 2008-2009

Carabins Tennis Training for the Canadian Championship

The big week has arrived, the Carabins tennis team of Université de Montréal is going to Toronto to compete for the Canadian championships at the Rexall Center York University (Yes! we’ll play at the same time as the Women Rogers Cup). I am proud of my teammates, we all have been training hard these past months for the most important competition of the year. I believe we all gain a lot of endurance by playing tennis with this weather…

Montreal weather forecast: feels like 40!

Isabelle Chrun preparation to play tennis In order to play in that high heat, I wear a white cap, I put sunscreen and I bring a lot of water. Training when it feels like 40 degrees Celsius is a good way to sweat my French Fries fat :P

Let’s see if the Carabins will win the Canadian Championship, wish us luck. And wish me luck as I will get in the entourage of those tennis divas when I’ll be in the VIP box at the semi-finals (I will also try to tweet with those superstars Iike I did with Bob Bryan :)

* I would like to meet with the person who is tweeting for the @RogersCup, care to help?

Can You Beat My 170 km/h Tennis Serve?

At the Montreal Rogers Cup, there is this stand where we can measure the speed of our tennis serve. I am disappointed that on that day, I couldn’t serve faster than 104 mph (167 km/h). I don’t want to make up excuses here, but you have to agree with me that I would serve better with my own racket and gear (i.e. shoes)…

Well anyway, that’s what I’ve been telling myself :) I believe that on a good day, I can serve faster than what you will see here

So, how about you guys? How fast is your tennis serve?

Bob Bryan Gave Me His Adidas Cap!

Because Bob and Mike Bryan were so cool when I chatted with them after their practice on Tuesday, I went hunting some tickets for their first game at the Montreal Rogers Masters. At first, I was pessimist, because I knew it was sold out for Thursday’s night session on Center Court since King Federer was playing. Fortunately in the morning, when I looked at the order of play, jubilant I was when I realized the Bryan brothers will play on Court Banque Nationale! It took me no time to call and buy my tickets (row C, behind the players bench :)

I arrived at Stade Uniprix one hour before the matches so that I can show around the site to Hugo (his first time at the prestigious Rogers Cup event). As soon as we enter, there was this cart going by us, it was Bob and Mike Bryan. I shout to them “Hey Bob and Mike, do you remember me?”. Imagine how pleased I was when they say “Yeah, I remember you, you are isaSuperstar” :)

That Thursday night was memorable. The singles match was a battle of two musketeers Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (7th) VS Gilles Simon (9th). The Frenchmen gave a good show. After Tsonga’s win, the Californian twins made their entrance on the court to face Robert Lindstedt and Marcelo Melo. Bob and Mike Bryan played well and secured their win with a break in the second set.

Bob Bryan gave me his Adidas cap!

These chest-bumping twins rock: they took the time to sign several autographs. They threw towels (I caught one!) and tennis balls in the crowd. While Bob Byran was giving out autographs, I went to talk to him. He told me he read my ‘Bob and Mike Bryan’s music band’ blog post. On the top of that, not only he said that I was a good writer but he gave me his Adidas cap! It will be my lucky charm for my Canadian Championship this week.

I asked Bob Bryan to tweet about beautiful Montreal

(After their practice on Tuesday, I asked Bob Bryan to tweet about my beautiful city ^^ As soon as I saw his tweet, I replied @Bryanbros and told him about my blog. Twitter is a great way to interact with the superstars.)

Andy Murray Rises Above Rafael Nadal for ATP No. 2

Andy Murray Classy ATP World No. 2

With his win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga today at the Montreal Masters semi-finals, Andy Murray guarantees he will reach the ATP World Tour No. 2 spot over Rafael Nadal. The Scot will in this way bust the four-year Federer-Nadal supremacy.

Throughout this past week, Murray has been magnificent. He didn’t even drop a single set until now. Let’s see if Juan Martin Del Potro can shake the new No. 2 tomorrow at the finals of the Montreal Rogers Cup.

Top 8 Fight at the Montreal Masters Quarterfinals

Since the ATP rankings existed in 1973, it is the first time that we witness the top eight ranked reach the quarterfinals of a tournament. Today’s match-ups feature tennis stars from eight different countries

No. 1 Roger Federer (Switzerland) VS No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France)
No. 2 Rafael Nadal (Spain) VS No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro (Argentina)
No. 3 Andy Murray (England) VS No. 8 Nikolay Davydenko (Russia)
No. 4 Novak Djokovic (Serbia) VS No. 5 Andy Roddick (USA)

Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Andy Roddick and Juan Martin del Potro made it to the Final Four. Here are some salient facts:

– If Murray gets to the finals, he would move to No. 2 spot in the ATP rankings.

– Although he only served for 23% on his first serve in the second set, Tsonga brilliantly came back from two breaks in the third set.

– Roddick dropped 226 km/h bombs and won 8/11 net points.

– Del Potro served his seventh ace on his match point to beat Nadal.

Top 8 fight in the Montreal Masters 2009

David Ferrer and Tommy Haas Forfeited in Montreal’s 2nd Round

Long-awaited singles return of Rafael Nadal attracted thousands of spectators. The Montreal Rogers Cup 2009 even sold tickets for “stand-up places”. Unfortunately, the crowd just got 36 minutes of Nadal’s action, since his opponent David Ferrer retired due to a knee injury. I suspect David to have trained too much in the past days, I saw him spend so many hours on the practice courts.

David Ferrer Training at Montreal Rogers Cup 2009

Simultaneously, Fernando Gonzalez and Tommy Haas gave the public a solid first set on Court Banque Nationale. It went to a tie break. However, Tommy had to give up because of his hand, apparently we could see his flesh…

Tommy Haas training at Montreal Rogers Cup

All the tickets holders must have been so disappointed. Luckily for me, I didn’t attend that evening session, I needed a little break (I’ve already been there on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday). Some of my friends who were there were sooooo pissed*

*Olibou, I’m sorry, don’t be mad :)

Igor Andreev Training at Montreal Rogers Cup

I have spent a lot of time around the practice courts of Stade Uniprix. During this ATP Masters 1000 event in Montreal, one of the players that I have noticed is Igor Andreev. He trained for hours on the courts and he impressed me with his hard work.

Igor Andreev's forehand at Stade Uniprix

Don’t we like Igor Andreev’s forehand? Moreover, I also love how his Under Armour gear fits him so well :)
Imagine how happy I was when Igor Andreev accepted to take a picture with me!


Frederic Niemeyer’s Last Match in Montreal: Roger Federer

I will always remember the time when Frederic Niemeyer came to play at the tennis courts where I spent several summers as a kid. Parc Bon-Pasteur used to have a cool turf surface with a bit of sand. Frederic probably wanted to prepare for the grass season. At that time, I asked him to autograph a tennis ball that I still keep in my bedroom.

During this year’s Montreal Rogers Cup, I met him again so I asked for a picture with him. It was some hours before his match against Roger Federer. Frederic smiled when a guy told him “You will beat Roger tonight!” I guess he knows he won’t beat the King. Being eliminated by the Swiss Maestro is nevertheless a honorable way to exit. The beloved Canadian announced that he will retire at the end of the season, so it was his last appearance in Montreal…

Frederic Niemeyer and Roger Federer at Montreal Rogers Cup

Merci Frederic!

Travis Parrott: Tennis, Blog, Guitar Hero

Tennis players don’t enjoy rain, because unlike some other sports (like soccer), we just can’t (well we shouldn’t) play on slippery courts. During this late afternoon, as Travis Parrott arrives on court 3 to practice with his doubles partner Filip Polasek, the rain started pouring down. They didn’t even have the time to take out their racket that they had to go back on their cart and return to the locker room.

However, because I was following Travis’ blog and tweets I just couldn’t let him go without talking to him. So I called his name and told him that he still owes me a can of Wimbledon balls. That is when he walked towards me and took a picture with me. I felt bad that he kinda missed his ride back (the cart took off without him), but I was more than glad to get an opportunity to chat with him while walking together under the rain.

Although we didn’t discuss about his Guitar Hero addiction, I asked him how he was doing with his recent shoulder injury. Travis was also nice to wish me luck for my Canadian Championship next week in Toronto (Yes, I’ll be playing at the Rexall Center York University during the Women Rogers Cup!)

Travis Parrott

Good luck Travis, and if you want to know the cool spots around town, call me ^_^

Bob and Mike Bryan’s Music Band

Not only they are the best doubles team in the world, but these cute twins also perform on music stages. FYI: the BryanBrosBand.com will be launching soon.

Meanwhile, I had the opportunity to watch Bob and Mike practice on the courts of Stade Uniprix at the Montreal Rogers Cup today. After a solid training, they were kind enough to give out autographs and take pictures with their fans. As you can see, I was among the lucky ones.

By the way, can you tell the difference between these twin brothers? Here’s how I do it:

Bob Bryan is the lefty who is tweeting

Mike Bryan is the right-handed who promised me a gift if I manage to get tickets and go watch their game on Thursday ^_^

Does anyone have a spare ticket for me? I need a lucky charm for my Canadian Championship next week in Toronto (Yes, I’ll be playing at the Rexall Center York University during the Women Rogers Cup!)

Bob Bryan and Isabelle Chrun

Mike Bryan and Isabelle Chrun

Glamorous Monday Night at the Montreal Rogers Cup

Like I said in my previous post (Safin, Monfils, Simon, Dancevic on Centre Court in Montreal), I was lucky enough to be invited in the Platinum Club Center Court Box. Needless to say how ecstatic I was to enjoy the show from the second row. I even wore my green Adidas Originals Tournament Edition dress (you know, in case the players see me hehe).

Ranked 13th, Gael Monfils defeated former World No. 1 Marat Safin 6-2 3-6 6-4. I love watching these two players. Monfils knew when to get the crowd involved after winning some crucial points. On the other hand, even though he was 47% on his first serve, the Russian managed to take the second set. A stroke worth of mention is Safin’s backhand. I mean WOW, the acceleration of his forearms on his swing is impressive.

Oh yeah, Marat did lose his patience for some time during the match. He did hit a ball out of the stadium, but (at least) he didn’t break his beautiful HEAD Microgel Prestige (yes, it is the racket I play with too :)

Isabelle Chrun Montreal Rogers Cup 09

Safin, Monfils, Simon, Dancevic on Centre Court in Montreal

On this Monday, first round of Montreal Rogers Cup 2009, the schedule is sick (as my friend Andrzej would say). Indeed, Marin Cilic, Igor Andreev, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray & cie will play a singles or doubles match on this opening day of the Masters 1000 event at Stade Uniprix.

As for me, I am looking forward to tonight’s show on Centre Court starring Marat Safin VS Gael Monfils. Furthermore, for dessert, Gilles Simon will face Canada’s beloved Frank Dancevic.

Marat Safin shirtless in Montreal

Marat Safin shirtless, ‘nough said

Gael Monfils hitting a forehand in Montreal

Gael Monfils trained for hours on Saturday

Gilles Simon volleying in Montreal

As I was taking this shot of Gilles Simon, I chatted with his girlfriend who was standing next to me

Frank Dancevic and Isabelle Chrun

Frank Dancevic, sexy Canadian who reached the quarterfinals in 2007

*breaking news: I have just been invited in the Centre Court Box, Platinum Club (which means FIRST ROWS!) see you tonite :D

Longshot Milos Raonic Makes Canada Proud

On the first day of the Montreal Rogers Cup 2009, Milos Raonic knocked off fourth seeded Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili at the first round of the qualifying 6-7 (7), 6-2, 7-5

He then became on Sunday the first Canadian since 1986 to qualify for the Rogers Cup main draw after defeating 11th-seeded Michael Llodra 6-4, 7-6(3)

Only seven spots were available from the qualifying rounds to access the main draw where Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick & cie are competing.

Milos Raonic is ranked 691st on the ATP Tour, still young but is already getting a buzz.

Milos Raonic qualifies for Montreal Rogers Cup 2009

Good Luck Milos!

Montreal Rogers Cup 2009

The Montreal Rogers Cup 2009, third oldest tournament on tour after Wimbledon and the US Open, welcomes the best tennis men in the world with more than $3 million in money prize. Now imagine what happens when Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick & cie come to Stade Uniprix in Montréal. No doubt that thousands of amateurs will try to weave in and out hoping to take a peak at their favorite players.

The impetus of the crowd is staggering when a famous player approaches the practice courts (FYI: in addition to the Centre Court and Court Banque National, there is a dozen of other courts where players can practice). Indeed, several ecstatic fans would run after the cart of their heroes to take pictures. Some die-hard ones would wait four hours besides the court in order to get the best view when Roger Federer arrives.

I was lucky enough to attend the first weekend of the tourney. Even though the top seeded are not playing any match (there are two qualifying rounds before the main draw), it is always a pleasure for me to go admire them on the practice courts. Here are some pictures (among dozens) I took during the sunny weekend at the Montreal Rogers Cup 2009:

Roger Federer\'s entrance

Roger Federer is popular in Montreal

There wasn’t enough place on the side of Roger Federer‘s practice court, so people would go at the top of Court Banque Nationale to catch a glimpse of the King.

Popsicle > Roger Federer

Some were more interested in their popsicle than in the World No. 1 tennis player

Juan Carlos Ferrero and Isabelle Chrun

Former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero & me

Lleyton Hewitt in Montreal

Former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt

Marat Safin nonchalant look in Montreal

Former World No. 1 Marat Safin‘s nonchalant look with those gray shorts *love*

David Ferrer looking sexy in Montreal

David Ferrer aka Ferru, won more than $6,764,065 in his career, still in (sexy) good shape

Stay tuned for many MANY more pictures ^^ (I will also add more on Facebook and Flickr)