Stars take to Toronto streets

BRYN WEESE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

Game, set, traffic jam.

While it's not unusual for gridlock on Yonge St., it's not always for a match between two of the world's best tennis players.

That's what happened yesterday when Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki, both contenders in this week's Rogers Cup, squared off in a friendly noon-hour street match at Yonge and Dundas Sts.

Traffic along the two major traffic arteries was halted for about 40 minutes while the two tennis stars battled each other -- and the heat -- in front of a few hundred spectators on the hastily taped-out street court.

"I think it's a lot of fun, and it's something you don't do every day," Wozniacki said. "Just to be out here, closing a street, it's amazing. And it's such a big crowd."

The match was reminiscent of a mid-1990s Nike commercial in which Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras jumped off a New York bus and stopped traffic to play in the street.

"It's good to do things like this and promote larger crowds," said Ivanovic, who is making her third appearance at the Rogers Cup. The 21-year-old Serb won in 2006.

"I love this place. It's my third time here, so hopefully third time lucky ... I love playing here and I really feel a good connection with the crowd here."

Wozniacki, from Denmark and the tournament's No. 8 seed, also said she likes playing in Toronto.

"I love the city, I love the crowd, I love everything about the tournament," she said.

The Rogers Cup wraps up this weekend at York University.

While many of the spectators at yesterday's match just happened to be at the right place at the right time, others came down specifically for the match and weren't disappointed.

"The match was great. The girls started off a little light, you know, and were just taking it easy, but then they got into it," said Asante Tracey, a university student who has lived in the city for the past four years.

Paulina Klimowicz, another spectator at yesterday's match, said she has become a tennis fan lately and wanted to see two of the world's best square off on a city street.

"I think this is the best place to do that because you get the right attention, and of course, you get a lot of publicity," she said.


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