The dual Canadian Opens continue on Thursday with the men in Toronto and the women in Montreal. The men’s schedule is loaded, featuring testers for Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray among others, while the women’s schedule features world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and Wimbledon finalist Aggie Radwanska.
Highlights of Thursday’s absolutely loaded schedule in Toronto are (1) Novak Djokovic or Bernard Tomic vs. Sam Querrey, (2) Andy Murray vs. (16) Milos Raonic, (5) Janko Tipsarevic vs. (10) Marin Cilic, (7) Juan Monaco vs. (11) Mardy Fish, (14) Richard Gasquet vs. (4) Tomas Berdych, Tommy Haas vs. Radek “The Worm” Stepanek, and (8) John Isner vs. (12) Philipp Kohlschreiber.
In Montreal for the women, the less-bright highlights are (1) Victoria Azarenka vs. Tamira Paszek, (2) Aggie Radwanska vs. Mona Barthel, (11) Ana Ivanovic vs. Roberta Vinci, (13) Jelena Jankovic vs. (WC) Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada, (10) Li Na vs. Canadian (WC) Eugenie Bouchard, (9) Marion Bartoli vs. Shuai Peng, (7) Caroline Wozniacki vs. (Q) Kiki Bertens, and (15) Sabine Lisicki vs. Carla Suarez Navarro.
MILOS THE MISSILE — Canada’s big-serving Milos Raonic beat Serbia’s Viktor Troicki to set up a third-round meeting with Olympic champion Andy Murray in Toronto. “I’m proud with the way I competed, with the way I played, I did a lot of important things well but I have some space for improvements for my next match,” Raonic said. Rising 22-year-old Canadian Vasek “Popsicle” Pospisil is also in the mix, in his opening round beating Italian Andreas Seppi 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(6) in a marathon 2-1/2 hour match.
THE DONALD CLOSES ON RECORD — American Donald Young is on a roll. A bad roll. The bad boy of the pseudo-USTA coaching class lost first round on Monday in Toronto, his 16th straight opening round loss. He is now 2-17 this year and has not won a tour match since February. Young is closing on the all-time losing streak of 21 matches set by fellow American rappin’ Vince Spadea. Must be something about sideways hats and losing streaks.
MARIA TRIES TO REBOUND TO NO. 1 — After receiving a 6-0, 6-1 beatdown in the Olympic gold medal match last week at the hands of Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova can, depending on results this week, possibly take the No. 1 ranking from Victoria Azarenka this week in Montreal. Olympic silver medallist Maria Sharapova arrived at the Montreal Cup on Tuesday eager to put her lopsided loss to Serena Williams in the gold medal match of the London Olympics behind her. “It will motivate me to keep going and keep practicing,” Sharapova said of her beating at the All England Club Olympic venue. “There are certainly things I could have done better but she was playing really good tennis.” All of the Top 10 is in Montreal except Serena, which is fine with Aussie Sam Stosur. “I don’t think anyone is that worried about not playing them,” Stosur said of the Williams sisters. “(Serena) is breaking lots of records, which is great for our sport, but we are not going to complain if we don’t have to play them all the time.”…Hold the phone — Maria pulls out of Montreal today after practicing on site, citing a stomach virus. Hit the bathroom. Never mind. Would probably be sick if we lost in the Olympic gold match like that too.
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