The National Bank Open, formerly Rogers Cup

Road to Rogers Cup: Djokovic extends his Wimbledon reign

July 17, 2019

Welcome to Road to Rogers Cup, the weekly roundup of all the action on the ATP Tour ahead of the 2019 Rogers Cup presented by National Bank at IGA Stadium from August 2 to 11.

This week, we’re recapping the season’s third Grand Slam at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, which came to a close last Sunday.

Last week: A final for the books


Tennis fans around the globe were itching to see how the world’s best would fare on Wimbledon’s hallowed courts.

As it turns out, there were surprises in store from day one. Stefanos Tsitsipas (7), Alexander Zverev (6) and Dominic Thiem (5) all fell in their opening matches against Fabbiano, Vesely and Querrey, respectively. Luckily for them, the grass season is over.

Sam Querrey, Guido Pella and Roberto Bautista Agut were nothing short of impressive. Querrey managed to overpower Thiem and go deep in the tournament, appearing in his first Grand Slam quarter-final since the 2017 US Open. In the end, however, he was no match for Rafael Nadal.

Guido Pella also found his way to the quarters, showing Kevin Anderson (4) and Milos Raonic (15) the door. He was eventually defeated by Bautista-Agut, who ousted Karen Khachanov (10).  

Bautista-Agut’s semi-final berth is the furthest the Spaniard has ever gone in a Grand Slam. He fought for four sets but surrendered to the eventual champion.

Novak Djokovic’s run was practically perfect. En route to his fifth Wimbledon crown, he dropped only two sets (versus Hurkacz and Bautista Agut) and posted wins over Kohlschreiber, Kudla, Hurkacz, Humbert, Goffin and Bautista Agut to qualify for the final.

Roger Federer also had an illustrious sprint to the very end. His most highly anticipated match was his semi-final showdown against Nadal—their first clash at Wimbledon since 2008. The legendary rivals didn’t disappoint, churning out interminable rallies and mind-blowing points and keeping spectators on the edge of their seats up until the very last point.

In the ultimate head-to-head, Djokovic outlasted Federer and concluded their epic five-set saga after five hours and two match points against him (7-5(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(3)). The win was Nole’s 16th Grand Slam title. 

“This was mentally the most demanding [win of my career] because of the circumstances, and Roger across the net was playing well,” admitted Djokovic after the match

For the record

  • Bautista Agut a no-show at his own bachelor party. Roberto Bautista Agut hadn’t exactly planned to stay for the second week of Wimbledon. But instead of bailing on his friends who were waiting for him at his bachelor party in Ibiza, he invited them all to London. Definitely a good problem to have! 
  • Sandgren runs out of time. Tennys Sandgren didn’t think he’d last into week two either. When he ran out of time at his Airbnb—on the day before his match against Querrey—he was stuck searching for a hotel room!

Next week: On to Bastad, Umag and Newport

Most of the ATP headliners are off this week, but some players are competing in Bastad, Umag and Newport. Seeded first are Christian Garin, Fabio Fognini and John Isner, respectively.  

Canadian contingent

Many of our fellow Canadians are also taking break, but you can catch Vasek Pospisil, Peter Polansky, Liam Draxl and Alexis Galarneau at the National Bank Challenger in Gatineau, which got underway last week.