With Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer taking a pass, Rafael Nadal will be the headliner in Montreal Canadian Open Masters this week.
Nadal will seeking his 5th career title at the event. He won it last year in Toronto when he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas who made his breakthrough.
“When I get to a tournament, I try to work on my things and work on my game. It doesn’t matter whether Novak or Roger are here or not here,” said Nadal. “There are many great players here, so I have to just prepare myself as soon as possible and be ready for the action.”
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Alexander Zverev are also former champions in the field. And Marin Cilic is the only other Grand Slam titlist.
Nadal’s road could see him go through Atlanta champion Alex De Minaur, David Goffin, Fabio Fognini and Tsitsipas in the semifinals.
Tsitsipas, who is defending finalist points, might see Hubert Hurkacz, Gael Monfils and then former finalist Kei Nishikori before the semifinals.
The second-seeded Thiem, who just won the clay title in Kitzbuhel on Sunday, could face an upset-minded Denis Shapovalov in his opener. Big servers John Isner, Feliciano Lopez, Nick Kyrgios and Daniil Medevedev are also in his quarter.
Canada will be well represented with Milos Raonic, Denis Shapovalov and new star Felix Auger-Aliassime who takes on countryman Vasek Pospisil.
Projected quarterfinals: Nadal-Fognini, Tsitsipas-Nishikori, Khachanov-Zverev, Medvedev-Thiem.
Among the interesting first round matchups include Pella-Goffin, Hurkacz-Fritz, Bautista Agut-Tomic, Paire-Gasquet, Wawrinka-Dimitrov, Kyrgios-Edmund, Raonic-Pouille and Auger-Aliassime v Pospisil.
The tournament has seen five different winners the last five years.
MONDAY MONTREAL SCHEDULE
Court Central Starts At 12:00 Noon
1st Rd Lucas Pouille v 17 Milos Raonic
Not Before 3:00 Pm
1st Rd Felix Auger-Aliassime/Vasek Pospisil v Jeremy Chardy/Fabrice Martin
Not Before 6:30 Pm
1st Rd Pierre-Hugues Herbert v Denis Shapovalov
1st Rd Peter Polansky v 16 Gael Monfils
Banque Nationale Starts At 12:00 Noon
1st Rd Jan-Lennard Struff v (WC) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
1st Rd Tommy Paul v (WC) Brayden Schnur
1st Rd Stan Wawrinka v Grigor Dimitrov
Not Before 6:30 Pm
1st Rd Benoit Paire v Richard Gasquet
1st Rd Andrey Rublev/Alexander Zverev v -3 Mate Pavic/Bruno Soares
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