By Max Gao
Following the withdrawal of five-time champion and No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal, the remaining 11 seeds who have yet to complete their second-round match will begin their campaigns for the prestigious National Bank Open presented by Rogers title on Wednesday.
Shapovalov vs. Tiafoe, Monfils vs. Millman headline night session
It’s been four years since Denis Shapovalov burst onto the international scene with an inspired run in Montréal, where he defeated Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro before falling in the semi-finals. Shapovalov, now 22, returns to his home tournament as the No. 5 seed, and he will be looking to build on his 8-4 record at this event against a familiar foe in American Frances Tiafoe, against whom he owns a commanding 4-1 head-to-head record.
No. 11 seed Gael Monfils, who is a two-time former semi-finalist at this event, will meet Australia’s John Millman for the first time to close out the night session.
Auger-Aliassime begins campaign
Montréal native Félix Auger-Aliassime will kick off proceedings in Wednesday’s day session. The No. 9 seed, who is fresh off a run to the Wimbledon quarter-finals and his first Olympic appearance, will face Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic in his first singles match of the week. Lajovic won their only meeting at the ATP Cup last year in straight sets.
Rublev faces Fognini; Schwartzman faces Paire
Following Auger-Aliassime’s match on Stadium Court, No. 4 seed Andrey Rublev — who just won the Olympic gold medal in mixed doubles — will face a tall order in crafty Italian veteran Fabio Fognini. Fognini currently leads the head-to-head 5-3, but Rublev won their most recent meeting at Wimbledon just over a month ago. They will be followed by No. 8 seed Diego Schwartzman and Frenchman Benoit Paire. Schwartzman has won two of his last three meetings against Paire, with their most recent meeting also coming at Wimbledon this year.
Battle of the Russians: Karatsev vs. Khachanov
No. 15 seed Aslan Karatsev, the reigning Olympic silver medallist in mixed doubles, and Karen Khachanov, the reigning Olympic silver medallist in singles, will do battle in the second match of the day on Rogers 5G Grandstand Court. The two Russians met on home soil in St. Petersburg last fall, with Khachanov winning that match in three sets.