It was Philip Bester’s recent results that compelled Rogers Cup organizers to give him a wildcard into the main draw of the event. But in the first round on Monday, the British Columbian was no match for Gilles Muller of Luxemburg.
Muller won in two sets (6-2, 6-3) as rain clouds loomed over National Bank Court.
Bester had gotten off to a good start and even came close to breaking his opponent in the fifth game but Muller stayed the course.
“The game plan was to serve well and use my weapons to try to win and anticipate his serve,” explained Bester in a post-match press conference. “But the most important was to serve well and to try to impose my game as best I could.”
During the match, Bester had moments of brilliance.
“Yes, I had a few good moments,” said the 26-year-old Canadian. “I know that I can create those moments.” He also admitted that Muller had made some great shots on important points.
In the end, it was Muller’s powerful serve, which repeatedly clocked in at over 200 km/h, that tripped up the Canadian.
“He obviously had a powerful serve,” said Bester. “He also made some good shots at key moments. I have to give him credit for finding the way to win.”
Bester said that he hadn’t been intimidated by Muller’s play. “I was in the match. He was just the better player today. I have to forget all that and keep doing the things that I was doing because I feel like I’m on the right track,” said Bester.
In the second round, Muller will face Gaël Monfils (15) of France.