Top seed and 3-time champion Novak Djokovic will open his summer hardcourt season Wednesday afternoon in Toronto. The Serb who will seek a fourth Canadian Open title takes on lefty Gilles Muller in the second round.
It’s Djokovic’s first singles match since a shock upset loss to Sam Querrey in the third round at Wimbledon earlier this month.
Djokovic did play earlier today in a loss with countryman Nenad Zimonjic to Canadians Philip Bester and Adil Shamasdin 7-5, 4-6, 10-2. During the match the World No. 1 uncharacteristically smashed a racquet. Is whatever was troubling him during the Querrey match settles? We’ll find out this week.
Also tomorrow, Canadian favorite and Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic begins play against Rendy Lu.
“If a 10,000 crowd is against you, even if you prepare for it, it’s still a shock,” said Lu of facing Raonic. “I will be a little bit nervous, but I respect him. I’m happy for him. I hope I can play my best tennis and try to enjoy the 10,000 people against me.”
Former semifinalist Kei Nishikori meets big-serving American Dennis Novikov and after his big win over Nick Kyrgios, teen Wimbledon junior champion Denis Shapovalov tries to keep his dream run going against Grigor Dimitrov. The 17-year-old Shapovalov says he loves the spotlight.
“I love playing on a big stage,” Shapovalov said Monday. “I love impressing people.”
And he’s not content with just the Kyrgios win. “It’s just a matter of refocusing, getting ready for the match. Tournament is not over. I could celebrate my win from Nick after the tournament but now I’m going to focus for Dimitrov,” he said.
Dominic Thiem will be in action trying to score his first win in five tries over Kevin Anderson and Marin Cilic will face Ivo Karlovic.
Earlier today, Tomas Berdych beat Borna Coric in three sets, weekend winners Gael Monfils and Fabio Fognini both were winners.
“I think I’ve put in good work with my team. What I try to do is keep working with them and then see the results later,” said Monfils. “I like to think when I’m in my top game and with consistency, I can beat a lot of players at the top.”
Karlovic kept his hot run going edging 18-year-old American Taylor Fritz and Rajeev Ram sent off former semifinalist Ernests Gulbis.
In the late match, Stan Wawrinka needed two breakers to get past Mikhail Youzhny.
WEDNESDAY TORONTO SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[Q] D. Novikov (USA) vs  K. Nishikori (JPN)
Not Before 1:00 pm
 N. Djokovic (SRB) vs G. Muller (LUX)
T. Berdych (CZE) / R. Stepanek (CZE) vs  R. Bopanna (IND) / J. Rojer (NED)
Not Before 6:30 pm
 M. Raonic (CAN) vs Y. Lu (TPE)
G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs [WC] D. Shapovalov (CAN)
GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
 J. Isner (USA) vs [Q] R. Harrison (USA)
 D. Thiem (AUT) vs K. Anderson (RSA)
 M. Cilic (CRO) vs I. Karlovic (CRO)
 G. Monfils (FRA) vs V. Pospisil (CAN)
 I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) vs [PR] M. Cilic (CRO) / M. Draganja (CRO)
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