Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Montreal Day 2 Preview

Every year, this tournament is the beginning of the run to the US Open for most players. While a handful of players play in the smaller events of the US Open Series or play in some European clay tournaments, most players treat the time between Wimbledon and the Roger's Cup as a short off season. This tournament represents the start of the second half of the season, which is all on hard courts. For Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, this will be the launching ground for their race for the year-end No. 1, while others will be simply looking to get their hard court season off to a good start.
There are 16 matches on the docket for day two of the ATP Masters Series 1000 Montreal, featuring Djokovic and seven other seeds. The first round matches will be concluded today, while Richard Gasquet, Djokovic, and Kei Nishikori will all have their second round matches.

Jerzy Janowicz and Julien Benneteau are first on Court Central. This will be the first time Janowicz is back on the court since his incredible run to the semifinals at Wimbledon. One of the big match ups to look forward to in this tournament would be Janowicz and Nadal, so a win today from Janowicz makes that a greater possibility.

The big-serving John Isner is up next against Vasek Pospisil. As always, this is Isner's best time of year, and he is going north of the border on fire. Since exiting Wimbledon with a knee injury, Isner has won 11 of his last 13 matches. That will be followed by Canada's own big server, Milos Raonic, against Jeremy Chardy. Both players are defending good results at this event last year, so a first round loss for either will do a lot of damage to their ranking.

The final match on Court Central will see Djokovic square up against Florian Mayer, who defeated Bernard Tomic in three sets yesterday. The pair met in the 2012 Wimbledon quarterfinals and three other matches and it has always been Djokovic winning in straight sets. Mayer takes a lot of time to prepare his groundstrokes and Djokovic does an excellent job to take his time away. Mayer beats a lot of players with his creativity, but Djokovic always seems one step ahead when they are on the court.

 On BN Court, Martin Klizan is back in action after his thrilling win in a third set tiebreaker against Thomaz Bellucci yesterday. He will be taking on Richard Gasquet, who is defending 600 points from last year's final. It is a tough draw for Gasquet. He would have to reach the quarterfinals (Where he would likely face Djokovic) to guarantee that he stays in the top ten. Nishikori is the player threatening to knock Gasquet out of the top ten, and they could meet in the round of 16 if they both win today. Nishikori will be taking on Andreas Seppi not before 2:00 p.m.

Also on the schedule today will be Grigor Dimitrov, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Fabio Fognini, Marcos Baghdatis, Gilles Simon, and a Davis Cup rematch for Nicolas Almagro and Radek Stepanek.

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