Novak Djokovic Opens Play Wednesday In Toronto; Wawrinka, Berdych, Monfils Tuesday Winners
by Staff | July 26th, 2016, 10:54 pm

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.

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
[Q] D. Novikov (USA) vs [3] K. Nishikori (JPN)
Not Before 1:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs G. Muller (LUX)
T. Berdych (CZE) / R. Stepanek (CZE) vs [4] R. Bopanna (IND) / J. Rojer (NED)
Not Before 6:30 pm
[4] M. Raonic (CAN) vs Y. Lu (TPE)
G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs [WC] D. Shapovalov (CAN)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
[9] J. Isner (USA) vs [Q] R. Harrison (USA)
[6] D. Thiem (AUT) vs K. Anderson (RSA)
[8] M. Cilic (CRO) vs I. Karlovic (CRO)
[10] G. Monfils (FRA) vs V. Pospisil (CAN)
[3] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) vs [PR] M. Cilic (CRO) / M. Draganja (CRO)

You Might Like:
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Nick Kyrgios Double Faults Out Of Canadian Open To Teen Denis Shapovalov; Stan Wawrinka Tuesday
Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka On Brink Of Qualifying For The ATP Semifinals
Berdych, Wawrinka Bomb Out Of Basel, Federer In Action Wednesday; Gulbis v Isner In Valencia
Djokovic-Berdych, Raonic-Monfils Friday In Canadian Open Toronto QFs; Americans Go 0-4

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26 Comments for Novak Djokovic Opens Play Wednesday In Toronto; Wawrinka, Berdych, Monfils Tuesday Winners

Wog Boy Says:

I wouldn’t be surprised if Muller takes him out, listening his interview from the other thread I have a feeling that Nole is telling us not to expect too much (for whatever reason) in Toronto.
I still remember his match with Muller at AO and Nole being extremely frustrated for not being able to read Muller serve and return the way he likes. He lost two matches this year to big servers, Vesely and Querry, his service and return game is not clicking for some reason, that was his main weapon in last two or so years.

django Says:

I think so too wog boy. I said before anything over 10 GS would be fabulous for this fan. I would like him to get a couple of smaller things still.

Van Persie Says:

Am looking forward for Nole’s match today…it should really show, if he’s in form.

Wog Boy Says:

Yes django, I remember that you said 10 would great and we agreed if he can only get FO, well not that he managed to get FO, but that was also four in a row and #12, we can’t ask for more, can we?

Van Persie Says:

I am sure Nole will win a few slams more in the future, but am not so sure if he will be enough fit for the UO 2016. He had 2 terrific years of dominance. Agree with WB and Django, Novak has achieved so much lately…, more than we expected him to do.

Wog Boy Says:


I watched Muller twice, against Troicki in Sydney and Nole in Melbourne, it is frustrating and nerve wrecking, it is like watching paint dry, this year I tried to watch his match against Dr Ivo, but just couldn’t and I like Dr Ivo, he is a good man.

Van Persie Says:


Yes, I know Mueller can be tricky. It is no tragedy if Nole loses today.
I did not watch his dubs match.Novak is another player when he plays doubles, so it was not relevant for me. We will know only today, how our guy feels…

chrisford1 Says:

In the you cam’t make this up, Chrissie Evert got in touch with her backwards inner Serb and said “Celebrity
Tennis Legend Chris Evert — Menopause Ruined My Marriage!
Tennis great Chris Evert says menopause is at least partly to blame for the demise of her marriage to Olympian Andy Mill … insinuating the hormonal change had a major impact on the relationship. 61-year-old Evert opened up about the situation
It made her behavior change – she was depressed, aggressive, impulsive, not in control of her emotions at all times.

As part of the Indian Wells feminist- Raymond Moore – Djokovic “women players have it tougher with easier injury, physical things and hormones….” Serena claiming it is equal work to the men and deserves equal pay and women are just as consistent as the men….
Chris said the hormones and physical impairments are not real, and thought Djoko said it only because he comes from a culture in Serbia a little less modern that what Europe and America have..Because she knows Novak is a nice guy well liked by WTA players..

Maybe time for Novak to send a private note of support to Chris, saying he knows exactly what she is talking about at the time in her early 50s when she dumped Mills and had a 15 month 3rd marriage to Greg Norms.

Daniel Says:

None seema to be playing well atthe moment, saw Wawa match yesterday and Uouzhny lead both sets, even had set point second set, but Wawa prevail 2 tiebreaks.

Curious also to see Raonic today, he seems ready but never actually delever in Canada Masters previous years.

Have to warch Djoko to see if there is anything still lingering him. If he wins this round can’t see him losing next although Stepanek could be a pain in the a$& sometimes. Baby steps now and evaluate his overall game.

Anki Says:

What has happened to Nole’s serve and return since wimbledon. And he is to face a servebot today with his return not clicking.

Daniel Says:

Muller only has a chance if he plays great, he could also come a bit flat and this be an easy win for Djoko. His B- game still is good enough for almost anybody on tour. Let’s wait the match first, and even so, first round match in almost one month, he lost in Wimbledon almost 4 weeks ago (think it was a Satyrday If I am not wrong).

Daniel Says:

Djoko won first set 7-5 and is a break up second set. wish this match was at night.

Daniel Says:

Querrey and Thiem retired. Djoko lost advantage in second set, was broken and is now serving down 2-3.

BBB Says:

CF – I was going to ask if she offered any explanations for why her marriage to the Shark failed….

As I’ve said before, if you look literally at what Djokovic said, he was essentially reflecting comments made by e.g. Heather Watson. But people don’t read what’s actually written – they just assume he’s saying that women are inferior creatures, which was not his point at all. The opposite, in a way – that women have stuff to deal with that men don’t.

J-Kath Says:

Well: One down. Nole’s on his way.

Van Persie Says:

It was not easy for Nole, but he made it. It was important for him to win this match. Did not like his serve, but hopefully he will improve in the next round. BBB, I also realized, how much I missed his matches :)

Willow Says:

Bound to be a bit rusty, by the scoreline, Nole was a bit up and down, he will get better the more he plays, i think normal service has been resumed though, he will be fine, just as long as the shoulder isnt too much of a worry ….

BBB Says:

I think Mueller is not an easy out, so this is good, even if Nole reverted to his recent pattern of not closing out matches at the earliest opportunity…..

VP, there’s so much dissing of Djoker’s game that I guess I take for granted the ways in which he’s extraordinary. Next year when the ATP event is in Montreal, he can hang with Cirque du Soleil…..

Wog Boy Says:

Haven’t seen the match (it was in the middle of the night), but I can see Nole was broken twice in the second set and he served 49% in the second, that’s not good, but win is win.

AndyMira Says:

Hey Nole..congrats for the usual a string of magnificent points and amazing defensive skills were on display..also a BIG applaud for your positive thinking about the rest of the big 4..true champ in every sense of the word!

Wog Boy Says:

This boy Shapovalov is playing good tennis for his age, though it is strange to see young players with SHBH.

Wog Boy Says:

I read somewhere that it was very hot when Nole played, something like 37 degrees!
Just watching his match now, he didn’t look happy in the second set, whether with his game (most likely) or with something else.

Ulysses Says:

Shapovalov has a big game. He clearly role-modeled Federer, Monfils and Nadal.

So, here’s the story. I’m in Toronto and had been hearing of a kid who just won Junior Wimby. The news didn’t move me much since there was another Canadian who did the same in 2013 (Peliwo) and he’s been seriously struggling (Peliwo’s game is more of a Hewitt, and unless you’re blessed with Hewitt’s premium shot selection, it’s only effective in juniors).

That was until I saw this kid Shapovalov hit with Dominic Thiem sharp as a razor on Sunday, and immediately thought (not knowing who it was) that can’t be a journeyman hitting partner, this guy hits authoritatively and without fear, as though his flair ought to be on display for the world to see. His story is also very very encouraging. Not a top-down/centralized academy product (when will non-European countries with large budgets learn that a player must develop sufficiently on his own prior to soviet-style commanding of what’s right from the state?). Mom coached him until (paraphrasing her words) “when he hit 13 and she began getting too tired after 2 hours of hitting that she had to outsource to a coach very carefully.” Coaches told her to switch him to THBH, to have him do the drone-like cross-court drills etc etc etc but she just let him hit because, in her view, he had a naturally aggressive flair from very young (see below).

So after 5 minutes of read-up while watching the glorious practice session, naturally, I decided I’d skip over Thiem (of whom I’m already a huge fan) and got the kid’s autograph instead. Then he goes out and beats Kyrgios the next day.

There are a few standout juniors. Karen Kachanov is a sleeper. But I’m actually silently most excited about Stefanos Tsitsipas. He doesn’t seem to have the fire that Shapovalov has — in fact he seems almost agnostic on the court — but if he makes it to the big leagues, his game is the most beautiful of the juniors to watch.

Anki Says:

Novak’s serving in the second set reminded me of his 2010 years. Yikes, and what is with his recent pattern of getting broken while closing out matches. Some amazing points at 5-5 in the first set, his ground strokes were good. Got to improve his serve though.

skeezer Says:


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