MONTHLY HONORS New Tennis Masters Toronto champion Guillermo Canas has been named ATP Player of the Month for July after moving up to seventh place in the ATP Champions Race 2002. Taylor Dent, who captured his first ATP title in Newport, has been named Rising Star of the Month, while Bob and Mike Bryan were named Team of the Month.
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CANAS A BIG HIT
GUILLERMO CANAS once said that he hoped to be as famous as Guillermo Vilas in Argentina one day. Following his victory over Andy Roddick in the final of the Tennis Masters Toronto last week, the 24-year-old from Buenos Aires took a step closer to achieving his dream.
With five Argentines reaching finals on the ATP circuit in as many weeks, the country's media are going crazy over the "Legion Argentina." Canas' win in Canada was Argentine newspaper La Nacion's most visited on-line story on Monday, receiving over 235,000 hits, while national newspapers Ole and El Clarin both carried extensive coverage.
After arriving in Cincinnati for the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters, Canas spent 1 hour, 30 minutes on an ATP teleconference call to Latin American media, while five radio stations aired live interviews with their latest star.
"It's always been my dream to win a Tennis Masters Series event, " said Canas. "Winning this kind of tournament really puts me up in the elite of world tennis. These are the tournaments that make you big in this sport. Now I realize I can be among the best."
Canas, who moved to seventh position in the ATP Champions Race 2002, added: "It's great to be in the Top 10 in the Race, and now it's important for me to keep playing good tennis for the rest of the year, which is my big goal. It's great to be able to bring some happiness to people in Argentina."
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MEDIA MONITOR After Guillermo Canas' victory in Toronto, Argentine newspaper El Clarin took a closer look at the rapid rise of tennis and praised its latest heroes. Writes Gustavo Flores: "The only happy side that can be observed in Argentina of 2002 comes from sports. And in this area, tennis is ahead several lengths with a season that will be etched with fire into the annals of the national sport. Yesterday, Guillermo Cañas managed to add another giant link in the chain of successes that the Legión has accumulated throughout the world. There are no longer any surprises or amazements: It is the time for the consolidation of an Argentine power. There was so much celebrating in 2002 that not even the calendar had time to catch a break. The first week of the year arrived with the gift of a title: the one Cañas won in Chennai, there on the Indian hard courts. For the statistics: It had been 23 years since an Argentine had won in the first tournament of the year. The big Willy, Vilas, had been his predecessor ... It's time to celebrate. Like Vilas in his days, this group of players that are now known as integral parts of the Legión, made a little daily phenomenon possible, namely that Cañas, Nalbandian, Gaudio & Chela are common names in any talk about the country's sports; that tennis started to reach heights unknown only a few months ago, that people were asking for the results ... For this alone, so much effort was worthwhile."
source: the atp insider