2012 ATP Toronto Rogers Cup Preview
Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
The first hard court masters event of the summer, the Rogers Cup in Toronto will begin in earnest today right out of the Olympics. Notable withdrawals include Rafael Nadal, still dealing with knee issues, and Olympic silver medalist Roger Federer. Olympic gold medalist Murray and bronze medalist Del Potro, along with Djokovic, plan to compete. The top sixteen seeds receive first round byes.
ATP World Tour Masters 1000
August 6- August 12, 2012
Prize Money: $2,648,700
Top 8 seeds (who all receive first round byes)
1: Novak Djokovic
2: Andy Murray
3: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
4: Tomas Berdych
5: Janko Tipsarevic
6: Juan Martin Del Potro
7: Juan Monaco
8: John Isner
First round matchups to watch:
Tommy Haas vs. David Nalbandian
In a battle of skilled veterans, the red-hot Haas, a Washington finalist, will take on Nalby. Haas will be a favorite as he has played more on hardcourts now.
Kevin Anderson vs. Mihail Youzhny
Both these guys have had an up and down year and are certainly talented. They also play contrasting styles, and while Anderson is usually slightly better on hardcourts, Youzhny has played better recently but suffered a first round loss at the Olympics. These guys are just a couple of places apart from each other in the rankings.
Alex Bogomolov vs. Viktor Troicki
Bogomolov has had a horrendous 2012, but he did manage to snatch a first round win at the Olympics this week over Carlos Berlocq. On the other side of things, Troicki lost in the first round of the Olympics to Nicolas Almagro, but has had a pretty decent year, doing well in both Wimbledon (R16) and the French Open (R32).
Novak Djokovic, the unlucky loser of the Olympic bronze medal match, will try to regroup first against either a continually slumping Bernard Tomic, who will be happy to be back on hardcourts or a qualifier. After that, he could face dangerous 13-seed Kei Nishikori, who upset David Ferrer and made the Olympic quarterfinals or CitiOpen semifinalist and LA champion Sam Querrey. If he gets through that, he likely faces a rematch with the man who beat him for the Olympic bronze, Juan Martin Del Potro, in the quarterfinals.
Del Potro will face either Radek Stepanek or DC champion Alexandr Dolgopolov, and then could get the man Dolgopolov beat in the DC final, the scorching Tommy Haas. If that match comes to fruition, it will be brilliant given the high level of play both guys have been at recently. 9-seed Gilles Simon, who has struggled recently, is also in this part of the draw and will play the winner of Haas/Nalbandian.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who did well to make the quarters in Olympic singles, will face the winner of Jeremy Chardy vs. Donald Young in his opener. After that, he could get either Florian Mayer or Marcel Granollers, a couple of players more comfortable on clay. The quarters could find him facing Janko Tipsarevic. This is not a bad draw for Jo Willie.
Tipsarevic will face the winner of Youzhny/Anderson and then could face 10-seed Marin Cilic or Marcos Baghdatis in the third round.
Olympic Gold Medalist and two- time Rogers Cup champion Andy Murray will come off the biggest win of his career and face a qualifier in the second round. He could get home favorite Milos Raonic and another big serving big man, John Isner in the quarters. These are tricky matchups, but given his form, he should be able to do well adjusting to the hard courts.
Isner will face the winner of Pablo Andujar/Lukas Lacko and then likely faces a somewhat tricky Phillip Kohlschreiber in the third round, with the winner making the quarters.
Tomas Berdych, struggling as of late, starts off against Julien Benneteau or a qualifier and then could face another Frenchman, Richard Gasquet, in the third round. In the quarters, the winner could get Juan Monaco, Mardy Fish or maybe even Andreas Seppi of Italy.
Pico Monaco starts off against the winner of Seppi vs. Canadian favorite and Olympian Vasek Pospisil. He’d then likely face Mardy Fish, (still dealing with ankle issues, it seems) in the third round.
Dark Horse/Cheval Sombre: Juan Monaco
Monaco has been hot as of late, even though he suffered a second round loss to Feliciano Lopez in the Olympics. He’s a new top 10′er and was a winner of three clay court events this year and a finalist in another. He also made the semis of the hard court event in Indian Wells this year, beating his most likely ‘trip up’ in his part of the draw, Mardy Fish. His quarterfinals match up would likely be either the inconsistent Richard Gasquet or the struggling Tomas Berdych, neither of which is an impossible match up, giving him a good shot at the semis.
Djokovic d. Tsonga
Murray d. Monaco
Murray d. Djokovic
Andy will try to keep the momentum going in Canada.