Canadian Open Tennis Thursday Preview; Olympic Hangover Notes
by Staff | August 8th, 2012, 8:20 pm

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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45 Comments for Canadian Open Tennis Thursday Preview; Olympic Hangover Notes

Michael Says:

This is a very crucial tournament for Novak and he must win this one.

Margot Says:

Andy and Nole “must” be exhausted! It’s not a “must” win for either. Delboy already out, showing how tough the transition is, both mentally and physically.
Hope they r both fighting fit and ready for the Big One. Go Andole:)

alison Says:

Michael a must win tournament for Novak err why?give him a break for goodness sake,hes human these players cant be expected to win every tournament they enter,its the hard court season now it might take a little time to get used to the surface transition,but Novak and Andy both had good wins yesterday,its a start they cant do any more than taking things one step at a time.

Polo Says:

I don’t think this is a very crucial tournament. Many who played in the Olympics have pulled out while those who entered just did so because of commitment to the organizers (maybe to pick up appearance fees). Many lost in the first round and it did not seem to matter to them. It will be nice to win it but nobody would lose sleep by losing.

metan Says:

If andy and nole won’t reach final, how many points will they get

the mind reels Says:

I’m not sure if this is what Michael meant, but for Novak, he’s defending a lot of points this week (1,000), and so anything short of a victory means that the gap between him and Federer widens. He also hasn’t won a title in about 5 months, so if getting the W means anything as far as building confidence for the US Open, I’d say that this tournament is as important as the next Masters 1000. Must-win situation this week? Probably not, but he does need to do well and manage his body for the next few weeks.

Thomas Says:

I think this is a very important event for Novak. Not because the actual event is big, but because he desperately needs his confidence and AURA back. The blunt reality is that he hasn’t won a title since April. Nadal, Federer and now Murray have all lined up big wins against him since then to show him that his 2011 aura has faded.
So overall whilst his flashes of brilliance here and there this season(like the match against roddick) suggests that his strokes are still plenty sharp, there’s little denying that the Serb’s psychological edge over the tour is long gone. He still has the game, but will that be enough? This is why he needs to win one of the NA masters now to lay out his marker for the US Open title. So the biggest question is if djokovic can rebuld his edge soon? I am betting not before the US Open.

Colin Says:

Damn, more late nights (if you live in the UK).
Raonic should provide a stiff test for Murray. I just hope Andy doesn’t overdo it. He said he feels a bit sore and tired. Last year he had a great run in Asian tournaments, and then what happened?
He went into the USO and WTF with a bad back. I think he should skip Cinci, whatever he achieves in Montreal.
BTW, what’s been up with this site? I couldn’t reach it earlier today.

the mind reels Says:

@Colin: it would have been more prudent for Murray to skip Canada and play Cincy since (a) he’s just coming off of the Olympics 3 days ago and (b) he’s defending the title in Cincy.

I wonder if the tournament in Toronto made a big plea for Novak and Murray to come once they’d heard that Nadal and Federer had dropped out.

metan Says:

Nole doesn’t have the same performance last year but imo he doesn’t loss his confidence or needs aura. He reached am @ wimby n og. But if he needs to defend his point, I think may be yes.

metan Says:

Sorry reach semifinal @ wimby n og

jane Says:

The YTD race is extremely close between Fed, Nole and Rafa, who have all been at #1 in the 2012 race thus far. Only 335 points separate Nole and Fed, only 315 separate Rafa and Nole, and only 650 separate Rafa and Fed. Fed’s played 13 events, Rafa 12, and Nole 11. I suspect there will be jostling until the end of the year up top – difficult to say what’ll happen at this point. Anyone of those 3 could end up number 1. Murray is 2895 points back from number 1 right now, but if he wins a slam and a masters he could narrow that gap considerably. Very cozy at the top. :)

skeezer Says:

^ imo am expecting Nole to snatch it back sometime this year. But very much enjoying Fed being # 1 at ATM. It will be interesting to see how Murray plays on the HC season after his big Oly wins. IS this the big step he needed? If you remember, he has a history of flameouts after big performances….:/. Rafa? Mmmm..

alison Says:

I think the most likely senario would be Roger or Nole fighting it out for the No1 ranking,IMO its highly unlikely Rafa will be No1 ATM,IT seems most likely that Andy will take the No3 ranking and Rafa will drop to No4,especially with this now been the hardcourt season IMO.

trufan Says:

Djokovic has wilted a bit this year under the load of backing up his 70-6 year last year (with 3 slams) and defending a boat load of points.

Nadal wilted in 2011 under the load of defending his top notch 2010 season (72-10, 3 slams).

Fed is a only one who backed up a phenomenal 2004 (74-6, 3 slams, YEC), with a phenomenal 2005 (81-4, 2 slams), with a mind boggling 2006 (92-5, 3 slams, YEC, all 4 slam finals), with a pretty darn good 2007 (68-9, 3 slams, all 4 slam finals, YEC). Only in 2008 after getting mono and being 26+ in age did he drop down….

Nadal is closer to Djokovic than to Federer in terms of accomplishments. Fed is in a league of his own.

Ooooooooh, now the nadalites are going to come out to spew poison….

trufan Says:

With Murray now finally making it the “big 4” – doesn’t bode well for Nadal in terms of winning slams in the future. Perhaps another French, that’s it.

Brando Says:

Muzza, IMO, has made a massive mistake in playing this tourny. It’s obvious he needs a break, and yet he is playing this tourny- wrong decision. This could jeopardise his USO chances, for sure.

alison Says:

^ May as well still call it the Big 4,but with,Murray intead of Nadal then,but rather a premature conclusion to jump to,anything can happen,no poison spewed,just objective critisism thats all^.

Kimberly Says:

“perhaps” another french? Last time I checked he pretty much decimated the field there and only lost one set on red clay the entire season. Nadal has and will continue to set records on clay which will never be broken. If I had to bet on Nadal v. the entire atp field I would bet on Rafa. But I think his year is essentially finsihed. Wonder whats going on with him. Any news on whether he will play Cincy (although Cincy not a big Nadal tournament for sure, o2, Cincy, and Paris are his poorest masters)

alison Says:

Kimberly i think it was Metan or Mark that said he will play Cincy.

Brando Says:

Agree with kimberly re rafa and cincy- I’ll be shocked if he were to get to the SF there. Very tough to say what lies in store for rafa- as ever one thing for certain: write him off at your peril!

Margot Says:

Colin @ 10.12am. I’ve had problems accessing this site too….hang on…wait a minute…what have we got in common?…why we’re both Andy fans that’s what…..;)

Ray Says:


“He went into the USO and WTF with a bad back. ”

I like how USO comes AFTER the asian swing so that you can spin your own yarn. you live in your own murray filled world, dont you!

murray should skip cincinnati. i am quite sure he will not win USO if he even plays a couple of matches in USO!

alison Says:

Brando yeah completely agree,Rafa lost to Baggy at Cincy two years ago,if i remember rightly,and then as we know went on to win the USO,so you never know i suppose,one things for sure he will be fresh,just hope he can get some hardcourt match practice before then,even though my expectations are not too high.

Mark Says:

The last I heard is that Rafa will play Cincy if he can get there in time otherwise he will play in Winston- Salem to get some match practice.

Mark Says:

Rafa has just posted on facebook that he will NOT be playing in Cincy.

racquet Says:

Rafa just tweeted that he had to pull out of Cincy:

“I am still not ready to play. I have unforgettable moments in 2008. I am continuing with my recup.”

Mark Says:

Hola a todos, un nuevo mensaje para anunciar algo que no me hace feliz, pero lamentándolo mucho no participaré en el torneo de Cincinnati la semana que viene. Sigo sin estar en condiciones para participar. Tengo muchos seguidores allí y recuerdos inolvidables como el de 2008. Continúo con mi recuperación y entrenamientos. Gracias!

Hi all, another message to announce something that definitely doesn’t make me happy, but unfortunately I won’t be competing at the tournament in Cincinnati next week. I am still not ready to play. I have many fans in Cincy and unforgettable moments such as 2008. I am continuing with my recup and practice. Thanks!
See Translation
Rafa posted this on facebook.

jane Says:

I posted this on the other thread, but does anyone here know the answer?

I think the players are required to play the Masters Series events. Rafa could pull out of Canada without penalty because he has an injury, and I think Fed could pull out without penalty because he’s been on tour a certain amount of years. After so many matches and/or events, I think he can skip more Masters without penalty.

Can anyone confirm if this is the case?

And isn’t it the case that Nole, Murray, Delpo, Tsonga etc are required to play? I think a player is allowed to skip maybe one masters all year, as far as I know.

But otherwise there are penalties – is this not the case??

jane Says:

It’s not that surprising to hear that Rafa is taking a little more time to get better. He has so little to defend it seems crazy to rush back.

racquet Says:

Jane, that’s correct. Plus, Andy was quoted as saying he didn’t want to hurt the tournament by withdrawing as two huge stars had already pulled out. Very admirable but let’s hope it doesn’t hurt him in the long run. After seeing him yesterday I’m not sure he’ll make it past Milos tonight (if they play, with the rain delay). He was a bit sluggish.

jane Says:

Thanks racquet, and I think Ferrer and Roddick are probably in the same boat as Federer, in that they have played long enough that they have more leeway with skipping Masters events.

But Murray, Nole, Tsonga, Delpo *had* to play as far as I know – or they are allowed one miss I think.

Too bad about the weather – who knows how long the rain will last; it looks like it could be days! In which case, then what happens??

alison Says:

My worry for Rafa is that he will be really rusty come the USO,after all hes missing Cincy next week,that only leaves, one more week before the USO starts,thats if he plays that,it will be dissapointing for his fans if he misses the last slam of the year.

alison Says:

I actually have a horrible feeling Rafas not going to play the USO (SIGH),hopefully im wrong hmm.

racquet Says:

Andy just withdrew from Toronto with a sore knee. It was bothering him in last night’s match. Can’t say I’m sad about it. Great opportunity for Raonic now.

jane Says:

I wrote the same thing on the other thread racquet – I think he’ll probably go to his place in Florida to rest/practice.

Polo Says:

Djokovic himself does not believe he can duplicate his 2011. This is a sign of lack of confidence. I have never heard Federer talk like that even in his best years. He always felt and said he wants to improve further. Djokovic does not have the same mentality as Federer or Nadal. Now that he is losing more frequently to those top guys, it will continue to weaken his confidence. I am curious as to how Murray’s Olympic win can boost his confidence. If it does, Djokovic will be in bigger trouble. Just like Djokovic, I don’t think he can have another year like. He is good, but will never be Federer/Nadal good.

Wog boy Says:


After Wimbledon it was obvious he cannot repeat 2011, it wasn’t rocket science to work that out, until then Nole was always saying that everything possible. I cannot remember that he ever said until then that it is impossible to repeat 2011. I don’t think he did bad against other three this year, Nada 1:3 (three finals on cly, mind you), Federer 2:1 ( didn’t give him a set on cly), Murray 2:2 ( won when it mattered the most, GS and masters) not bad, not at all.
I noticed that every now and then you post about last year as fluke and about Nole as not being as good as the other two. If his last year was a fluke then all other players years when they won three was fluke too because apart of Federer nobody managed to win more than one GS following year and Nole already has that one GS with USO around the corner. If that year was a fluke then JMC 1984 was more than fluke since he never won GS slam again and Lendl won only two (methinks) after his best one and so on and so on.
Nole is doing just fine….. Against all the odds:-)

jane Says:

Still raining in Toronto; they put some doubles matches on indoor courts, but Nole still went for a hit outside. ;)

chrisJ Says:

Are you there in Rexall Stadium Jane?

jane Says:

No, chrisJ. I wish I were!! That picture was in a tweet. There are others, tweeted by Roger’s Cup and one at the ATP site too. Don’t know if you know but play has been halted for tonight, so Nole could have to play two matches tomorrow, if he beats Sam. He is scheduled to play at 1:00 pm and then the last match of the day should he advance. BUT, I wonder if they are thinking of putting the matches indoors if it’s still raining, which is what they’ve done with doubles tonight. Might not be a bad idea, since Cincy is right around the corner…

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Anyone seen Friday’s schedule? Its amazing: EVERYONE plays two matches. Except the people who lose their first…

Haas/ Nole (as a possible 2nd match of the day) could be a lot of fun. Gasquet/Berdych, too.

Milos vs Isner or Kohlschreiber- will be for Ivanisevic/Sampras nostalgics.

jane Says:

Only Milos won’t play two singles matches TV, because he got the walkover due to Andy’s withdrawal.

contemperory Says:

This is what I got from the rulebook – But according to this, Rafa cannot skip them. Not sure then why he is not being penalized.

1.08 Reduction of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Commitment

A. A player’s number of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 commitment tournaments shall be reduced by one (1) tournament for reaching each of the following milestones:

1) 600 matches* (as of 1 January of the commitment year)
2) 12 years of service
3) 31 years of age (as of 1 January of the commitment year)

If all three (3) conditions are met then the player has a complete exemption from the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 player commitment.

The first Year of Service shall be the first calendar year in which a player has competed in at least twelve (12) tournaments offering ranking points.

* From 2010 only main draw singles matches played in the following events will be used in the player’s match count for purposes of this rule.

ATP World Tour
Barclays ATP World Tour Final
Grand Slams
Davis Cup

Challenger and Futures matches played prior to 2010 will remain on the player’s record as relates to this commitment reduction rule.

B. A player who is eligible for a reduction of his ATP World Tour Masters 1000 commitment tournaments must be in good standing with the ATP in order to receive a reduction of required ATP World Tour Masters 1000 commitment tournaments


Q. What if a player is injured and can’t play in a Grand Slam or ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament?

A. If eligible to play in one of the Grand Slam or ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, a player must count the points from these tournaments, even if it is ‘a zero pointer’ because he missed the event. Just as in Formula One and numerous other sports, if a competitor misses a race or an event, he loses his chance to earn points. Players with direct acceptance who do not play an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament will be suspended from a subsequent ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event, which will be the next highest points earned ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event within the next 12 months. If an injured player is on site within the first three days of a tournament to conduct promotional activities over a two-day period, a suspension will not be enforced but a 0-pointer will be counted on a player’s ranking.


Does this mean Rafa is going to be suspended or something?

Top story: Pro Tennis Suspension Extends Until August