By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin
MONTREAL – While Serena Williams preferred to skip the Rogers Cup, she is one everyoneâ€™s mind in Montreal….
Samantha Stosur talked about the American, whom she beat in the US Open final last year: â€˜â€™While she isnâ€™t number one on paper, she is certainly playing like one. But she is human, you can beat her. You have to do certain things perfectly. What they are? I wonâ€™t reveal that!â€˜â€™
Azarenka, who just lost to Williams at the Olympics added: â€˜â€™Is she unbeatable? At the Olympics she was. But not everywhere, weâ€™ll see in the upcoming weeks.â€™â€™
Kvitova finally summarized everyoneâ€™s opinion in a few words: â€˜â€™Sheâ€™s the Big Boss!â€™â€™.
Maria Sharapova was particularly talkative earlier today in her pre-tournament interview: here are a few of her best quotes.
On Montreal: â€˜â€™I really like this city: itâ€™s very European with everyone speaking French. I hope to have the chance to visit a bit more in the next week.â€™â€™
On the feeling of completing her personal Grand Slam by winning the French Open earlier this year: â€˜â€™Fortunately, the only four [Grand Slams] I won were all different!â€™â€™
On the criticism about her grunting, notably: â€˜â€™We will always be criticized. We will always be praised. But itâ€™s part of our job and we get used to it.â€™â€™
On what makes her different than the player she was at 16 years old: â€˜â€™Definitely experience. Experience in priceless in tennis. Iâ€™ve had tougher times, Iâ€™ve had wins and losses. When you are younger, you find an easy way out. And then you realize you canâ€™t always do that.â€™â€™
For most of the players, Montreal marks their first hard court tournament after the grass season. Some are happy about it, some arenâ€™t…
Samantha Stosur: â€˜â€™I much prefer this surface! Iâ€™ve never played Montreal before, but Iâ€™m assuming it wonâ€™t be different than Toronto. â€˜â€™
Angelique Kerber: â€˜â€™Iâ€™m happy to be back on hard courts, my favorite surface. Iâ€™m quite ready for the US Open Series.â€™â€™
Petra Kvitova: â€˜â€™Outdoor hard courts are more difficult for me: the sun, the wind, the changing conditions. Here in North America,the surface is also slower and itâ€™s much more humid.â€™â€™
Sara Errani: â€˜â€™Hardcourt is not my favorite surface, but I do like it more than grass!â€™â€™.
And finally, the quote of the day goes to first seed Victoria Azarenka.
Asked about her preparation for this tournament, the world number one replied: â€˜â€™Honestly, Iâ€™ve just landed. Right now Iâ€™m just trying to think straight.â€™â€™
Charles David Mathieu-Poulin blogs for WtaQuebec www.wtaquebec.com, a website promoting local Quebec players. He is covering the Rogers Cup in Montreal for Tennis Panorama News. Follow him on twitter @earthstroke, follow his Montreal coverage on @TennnisNewsTPN.