Monday brought drama in Toronto. So, Tuesday. What do you have in store for us?
Three Canadians won through on the first day of main draw play at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank, including 17-year-old Denis Shapovalov scoring a first-ever career win with a shocking victory over No. 11 seed Nick Kyrgios.
Tuesday concludes first-round action, a schedule that features No. 10 seed Gael Monfils (fresh off a title in Washington, DC) and Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, while No. 2 seed Stan Wawrinka and No. 5 Tomas Berdych contest their respective second-round matches.
You don’t have to look far for must-see matches, which include the world’s No. 1-ranked singles player Novak Djokovic teaming up with Serbian countryman Nenad Zimonjic in doubles. They play the all-Canadian pair of Philip Bester and Adil Shamasdin in the second match of the day on Grandstand.
Who else is in action? No. 14 seed Benoit Paire meets tricky veteran qualifier Radek Stepanek to start on Grandstand, while No. 13 Lucas Pouille has another qualifier, Emilio Gomez (the world No. 318) in the second match on Court 1.
Teenager Alexander Zverev begins his Toronto campaign in the first match on Centre Court against Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei, the winner earning the right to face Canadian No. 1 Milos Raonic in the second round on Wednesday night.
The list goes on and on (and on) Tuesday: Donald Young vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov; No. 15 seed Steve Johnson vs. Fabio Fognini (winner last week in Umag); Ivo Karlovic vs. American teen Taylor Fritz; Jared Donaldson (another American youngster) vs. John Millman; Ernests Gulbis vs. Rajeev Ram; and doubles featuring Marin Cilic, John Isner, Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock and Zverev in addition to Canadians Felix Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov.
Pospisil is looking to turn around a season of misfortunes when he faces a tough test in France’s Jeremy Chardy in the featured evening match at 7 PM on Centre Court. The Canadian said he feels as though he’s been working on the right things in practice, and now needs the wins to come, too.
Monfils will take on the always-dangerous Joao Sousa, while Berdych gets a challenge from young gun Borna Coric, who won a three-setter on Monday. Mikhail Youzhny is the man who will try to pull off the biggest upset of the day when he meets Wawrinka. The Russian leads their head-to-head 3-2, though they haven’t faced off in nearly six years.
Grandstand will undoubtedly be packed for the Djokovic/Zimojic-Bester/Shamasdin doubles, the Serbs honing their teamwork ahead of the Rio Olympics.
But can Tuesday deliver the fireworks that Monday provided? Let’s watch and see.