The National Bank Open, formerly Rogers Cup

A Masters 1000 is an uphill battle

August 3, 2019

There were some tense moments for the crowd that assembled on Friday afternoon at the draw ceremony of the 40th edition of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank at IGA Stadium. 

The first sign of anguish came when Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland and Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria ended up in a taxing opening round duel.

Fans sighed again when they understood Félix Auger-Aliassime and Vasek Pospisil of Canada would be going head-to-head in the third fratricidal clash of their careers. The British Columbian has yet to find a way to overpower the young Quebecer. 

Photo: Tennis Canada / Pascal Ratthé

It won’t be any easier for the star of the 2017 Rogers Cup, Denis Shapovalov. He will be up against the elegant Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France—a doubles master who can also be remarkably proficient in singles.

And let’s not forget Milos Raonic, who has one of the toughest roads in the draw. He will face the young American sensation Taylor Fritz in his first match. Should the Canadian survive, Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) of Greece will be waiting in the wings.

The match between Peter Polansky and fellow wild card Gaël Monfils of France also promises to be an arduous struggle.  

Brayden Schnur, to whom the draw was kinder, will tackle a qualifier. His potential opponent in the following round is Fabio Fognini (7) of Italy. Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem are seeded first and second, respectively. Nadal is in the top half of the draw with Tsitsipas and Kei Nishikori. Thiem is at the bottom with Alexander Zverev and Karen Khachanov.

(Photo en vedette: Tennis Canada / Pascal Ratthé)