In a follow up to my previous article on Rogers Cup 2016, the tournament has kicked off with delightful victories and subtle upsets. As notable players like Federer, Nadal and Murray remain missed, the crowd present in Toronto has been in for a delightful week.
The top-seed Novak Djokovic from Serbia advanced, beating Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4 in his tie. Djokovic, who is a 3-time winner here, will now face Tomas Berdych for his quarters. He now looks to snatch the trophy away from Andy Murray. The world No. was quoted saying “We played so many times. He’s one of the few players I’ve played at least 30 times, it’s not a first. Obviously, I need to review some past matches”. Stan Wawrinka, who’s been seeded #2 looks all set to challenge the tall South African, Anderson with his convincing win over the 16th seed, Jack Sock with 7-6 (3), 6-2.
Milos Raonic, this year’s favorite to win the tournament demolished American qualifier Jared Donaldson 6-2, 6-3 last night, setting up a quarterfinal date with the rejuvenated frenchman, Gael Monfils. Raonic blasted 15 aces in his victory over the American. He was later on interviewed, saying “And just because I saw that he was going to return from close, I went a little bit harder into the body just to try to make him think about it.” While Raonic had it easy, the 10th seed struggled with David Goffin in a 3-setter tie which ultimately outlasted the Belgium. Because of Monfils’ recent win in Citi Open, he is bound to be a favourite for Rogers Cup this year.
Over to the women’s singles’, the Canadian homegirl Eugenie Bouchard lost to Kristina Kucova in a thrilling 3-set match. Consequently, Canada lost it’s highest ranked female player in the 3rd round. Simon Halep from Romania went on to defeat the Czech, Karolina Pliskova. She advanced to the quarters as Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova survived a second-set scare to upset the fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska. She was quoted saying “I think I’m still recovering from the second set. Basically, I thought I had the match in my pocket and lost it, so I’m happy with the mental side.”
The British female number 1, Johanna Konta beat Varvara Lepchenko in just over an hour at 67-minutes. She now faces Kristina Kucova in the quarters. Another upset with Venus Williams losing to fellow American Madison Keys. Williams lost 6-1 6-7 (2-7) 6-3.