TORONTO - Stephanie Dubois gathered her gear and beat a hasty retreat from Centre Court on Wednesday with barely a glance to the crowd — an unceremonious exit for the final Canadian in Canada's marquee women's tennis tournament.
Canadians Dubois and Aleksandra Wozniak were both dispatched in the second round of the Rogers Cup on a day that saw world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki ousted as well.
No. 4 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus made quick work of Dubois, beating the wild-card entry from Laval, Que., 6-0, 6-0, in a game that lasted one hour and one minute, while Wozniak, from Blainville, Que., lost to No. 10 seed Samantha Stosur 6-3, 6-4.
"What can I say? For sure it's disappointing but I've been playing so well in the last few months, so I don't think I'm going to take that match, I think I'm going to forget it," said Dubois, who reached the quarter-finals in Washington last month.
"What can I say, I tried my best, it didn't really work out the way I wanted, I just need to go on and forget that match."
The Canadian eliminations continued a frustrating streak at the tournament. While the 23-year-old Dubois made the quarter-finals in Montreal in 2006, fans in Toronto haven't had the chance to cheer for a Canadian woman in the third round since Helen Kelesi in 1991.
"We're playing against the top players in the world, obviously it shows," Dubois said. "Azarenka, she's top-five in the world, that's for a reason. It's frustrating, but we do our best, and we've done really well in the past so I'm not concerned at all."
Wozniak has never made it past the second round in eight tries at the Rogers Cup.
"Well, it's disappointing," Wozniak said. "You play at home and you want to do so well. But I thought it was a good match, and I had a really tough opponent today."
Vancouver's Rebecca Marino, Canada's top-ranked women's player at No. 39, was bounced in her opening match Tuesday.
But the event's biggest upset came at the hands of Roberta Vinci, who shocked the defending champion Wozniacki 6-4, 7-5 on a day plagued by blustery winds in the tennis venue north of downtown Toronto.
Wozniacki, who has won a WTA-leading five titles this year, was up 5-1 in the second set and looking to rally from a set down. However, the No. 22-ranked Italian stormed back with three break points to complete the upset.
Wozniacki had a bye in the first round and never really got going against Vinci, sending her return long on match point. Wozniacki also hit returns long twice at the first set point to give Vinci a lead she would not relinquish.
"I would have liked to have won that one and especially after leading 5-1 in the second," Wozniacki said. "It's not fun to lose this, but there's nothing really I can do about it now, just practise, and try to do better."
Wozniacki was the latest in a list of top-seeded players to bow out early. Second-seeded Kim Clijsters withdrew Tuesday due to an abdominal injury, while former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic and the tournament's No. 9 seed Marion Bartoli were dispatched in their opening matches.
Fifth-seeded Maria Sharapova and former No. 1 Serena Williams both survived scares to advance.
Sharapova edged 19-year-old Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia 6-1, 7-5 in a chilly evening match. Sharapova's serve abandoned her in a second set that saw her commit five double faults before the three-time Grand Slam champion finally sealed the victory when Jovanovski fired a return long.
"I expected my opponent to play well today because she's dangerous, although she's a qualifier she's someone who's moving up and young and eager, and has beaten good players before," Sharapova said. "She's on her way up. So I knew that it was going to be a dangerous round knowing she had played a few matches already and this was my match.
"I was happy with the way I played in the first set and then it was up and down in the second, but overall I thought for a first match it was good."
Williams also battled through a gruelling see-saw second set en route to a 6-1, 7-6 (7) win against Julia Goerges.
The former world No. 1 and 13-time Grand Slam champion from the U.S. used her intimidating serve, which topped out at 195 kilometres per hour, to roll through her first set before the 20th-ranked German fought back in the second.
Windy conditions, with gusts of 35 km/h that swirled around the court, wreaked havoc with play all day, and forced the match between Ana Ivanovic and Iveta Benesova to be moved from centre court after a fallen light left broken glass on the playing surface.
The blustery conditions were obvious in Wozniacki's serve in the first set, as the ball repeatedly floated away when she tossed it above her. She double-faulted seven times in the match.
"It was very difficult at first with the wind," Wozniacki said. "Especially when you threw it up. It was going everywhere, so definitely that didn't make it easy. It was blowing in different directions, but it's the same for both players."
It will be Vinci's first appearance in the third round of the Rogers Cup in her third visit to the tournament. She has wins this year in Barcelona, Budapest and Hertogenbosch.
Vinci ranked this upset as a definite career highlight.
"This is the best victory in my life," the 28-year-old said emphatically. "I was 5-1 down but I knew that I can win the set because it was a lot of wind, so some mistakes.
"I tried to stay focused and play aggressive. That's it, this is the key why I won the set."
Williams joined the chorus of complaints about the wind.
"I thought (Goerges) played really well and really smart, the conditions were extremely tough. I thought that she had to change up her game and I had to adjust to that," Williams said. "It was just so much wind out there so it was a little difficult, but we were in the same circumstances so that's what I tried to think of. But she played really well."
Williams giggled when asked if her powerful serve gives her an advantage in the wind.
"I had to hit it softer today because it was so windy, I had to take pace off my ball," said the U.S. star. "You're not a tennis player? Yeah, I could tell. If you hit it too hard the ball is going to totally fly the harder you hit."
Wozniak clawed back to 5-3 in the first set with beautiful cross-court backhand and an ace, but the 23-year-old Canadian gave up any chance to rally when she returned the Australian's serve long to lose the set.
"Obviously the conditions were pretty tough today," Wozniak said. "When you step on the court, you've got to be ready to deal with whatever comes in front of you, your opponent or the sun or the wind, and yeah, they were pretty difficult, but I tried my best."
Serbia's Ivanovic eased into the third round with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Benesova of the Czech Republic. Joining her is No. 8 seed Francesca Schiavone of Italy, who defeated Russia's Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 6-3 in a game that was temporarily due to rain. Recent Wimbledon champion and No. 7 seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic is also through after battling Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues to a 7-6 (3), 6-3 win.
Earlier the day, a match between the top two Chinese players in women's tennis never materialized. Shuai Peng pulled out of her second-round match against world No. 6 Li Na with a left hip injury.
In Wednesday's other morning match, Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic ousted Romania's Simona Halep 6-2, 6-4.