RICKY’S PICKS & PREVIEW OF THE DRAW @2018 ROGERS CUP ATP TENNIS IN TORONTO

Written by: on 6th August 2018
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Citi Open Tennis Tournament in Washington, DC
RICKY'S PICKS & PREVIEW OF THE DRAW @2018 ROGERS CUP ATP TENNIS IN TORONTO

epa06929899 Alexander Zverev, of Germany, in action against Alex De Minaur, of Australia, during his finals match at the Citi Open tennis tournament at the Fitzgerald Tennis Center in Washington, DC, USA, 05 August 2018. Zverev, for the second year in a row, won the men's singles title 6-2, 6-4. EPA-EFE/PETE MAROVICH  |
Alexander Zverev, of Germany, in action against Alex De Minaur, of Australia, during his finals match at the Citi Open tennis tournament at the Fitzgerald Tennis Center in Washington, DC, USA, 05 August 2018.  Zverev, for the second year in a row, won the men’s singles title 6-2, 6-4.  EPA-EFE/PETE MAROVICH

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

Alexander Zverev went back-to-back during last summer’s U.S. Open at the Citi Open and Rogers Cup, and he has a chance to accomplish the same feat after lifting the trophy once more in Washington, D.C. Zverev won’t have to deal with Roger Federer at the Canada Masters this time around, as Federer is resting in advance of Cincinnati and the U.S. Open. Andy Murray is also out (rest), but an otherwise impressive draw includes Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin Del Potro, Kevin Anderson, Grigor Dimitrov, and Novak Djokovic.

 

Rogers Cup

 

Where: Toronto, Canada

Surface: Hard

Top seed: Rafael Nadal

Defending champion: Alexander Zverev

 

At first glance, Zverev’s draw for his title defense is a favorable one. His nearest seed is an ice-cold Jack Sock and the other top-eight seed in the bottom quarter of the draw is a slumping Dominic Thiem. However, Djokovic—who missed a bye in the first round by one spot—also landed in this section and is a more likely quarterfinal foe for Zverev than Thiem. The recent Wimbledon champion opens with Hyeon Chung, while Thiem likely awaits an in-form Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round.

 

Anderson and Djokovic, who are playing doubles together in Toronto, are on a collision course for the semifinals in what would be a rematch of the Wimbledon final. Anderson’s section also includes Dimitrov, David Goffin, and Milos Raonic. Goffin and Raonic have to go head-to-head in an intriguing opener, while other interesting first-rounders pit Roberto Bautista Agut against Ryan Harrison and Marco Cecchinato against Frances Tiafoe.

 

At the top of the bracket, Nadal looks to make amends for what he called his worst loss of the season to Denis Shapovalov at this event in 2017. A loaded unseeded contingent in the Spaniard’s quarter is highlighted by Kyle Edmund, Stan Wawrinka, Borna Coric, Jared Donaldson, and Benoit Paire. Following his meltdown in Washington D.C., Paire will run into Donaldson for the right to face Nadal in round two. Sixth-seeded Marin Cilic could be Nadal’s quarterfinal adversary, but he has cooled off in recent weeks on the heels of a hot first half to the 2018 campaign.

 

Shapovalov has to like his chances of making additional noise at the Rogers Cup, perhaps even to the extent of making another semifinal run. The 19-year-old Canadian’s nearest seeds are Fabio Fognini and Del Potro, both of whom may be fatigued after a long week in Los Cabos (Fognini defeated Del Potro in the title match). Recent Atlanta winnerJohn Isner has enjoyed some much-needed rest after losing right away in D.C., so he should be able to navigate a soft section and reach the quarterfinals to meet either Del Potro or Shapovalov.

 

Quarterfinal picks: Rafael Nadal over Borna Coric, Denis Shapovalov over John Isner, Milos Raonic over Kevin Anderson, and Novak Djokovic over Alexander Zverev

Semifinals: Nadal over Shapovalov and Djokovic over Raonic

Final: Djokovic over Nadal

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

 

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