TORONTO - Karl Hale was asked whether he was disappointed by this past week's Canadian results at the Rogers Cup after top Canuck Milos Raonic fell in the quarterfinal round in Toronto and world No. 8 Eugenie Bouchard lost her opening match to a tournament qualifier in Montreal.
Kale, the tournament director in Toronto, offered some interesting perspective in his immediate answer.
"I'm really happy you asked that question, because how soon we forget," Hale said as the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event wrapped in Toronto on Sunday. "Five years ago, you wouldn't be asking that question, so it's great that we have these Canadians that are doing so well on the global scale."
Indeed, Raonic vaulted to No. 6 entering the event, was coming off an ATP title, won against fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil the week prior in Washington and was hoping to get back to the final he reached a year ago in Montreal.
A quarterfinal loss by a Canadian being considered disappointing is not territory this tournament has been in before.
The Rogers Cup will go forward with two legitimate stars — Raonic and Bouchard — which is entirely new for tennis in this country.
"He's a Canadian hero and icon now," Hale said of the 23-year-old Raonic. "We have fans coming from all over talking about Milos. The two players are very young ... and I tell everybody the best is yet to come for the two of them.
"They have a bright future, which will also help our tournament."
The men return to Toronto in 2016, the same year the Olympics take place in Rio — Aug. 5 to 21 — which is around the same week the Rogers Cup has historically been held.
"Obviously, we weren't happy with the Olympic date two years ago," Karl said. "We're working with the tours and the (International Tennis Federation) to make it much more beneficial to our tournament, which we will do, for sure."