ATP Tour: Roger’s Cup - Canadian Open Preview

Roger’s Cup - Canadian Open Preview

We take a look at the ATP Tour's Rogers Cup round of 64 and 32 taking place on Wednesday 7 August 2019.

ATP Tour 2019 | ATP Masters 1000 Series
Rogers Cup - Canadian Open  
IGA Stadium, Montreal, Canada (Outdoor Hardcourt)
Selected Round of 64 and 32 Matches - 7 August 2019

Round of 64 

Nick Kyrgios (19/20)
vs Kyle Edmund (8/10)

The rollercoaster ride that is Nick Kyrgios took an upward swing last week in Washington. The mercurial Aussie accounted for Tsitsipas and Medvedev in the final two rounds, claiming his 2nd ATP 500 title of the year: he also won the Mexican Open. Kyrgios hasn’t really impressed too much at the 1000 level this year. In fact, he was disqualified in Rome following a temper tantrum that saw a chair being thrown across the court. But the enigmatic Aussie certainly has the inherent ability to compete at this level. Many count his semi-final defeat to Roger Federer in Miami as one of the greatest matches in recent Masters 1000 memory. That year he also went on to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 Final on the Cincinnati hard-courts. The thing with Kyrgios is this: can he now kick on? Generally speaking, Kyrgios has battled to string together consistent results.

Kyle Edmund actually has many similarities to Kyrgios. He has a powerful serve and relies on a devastating forehand to shorten points. He perhaps doesn’t quite share the Australian’s penchant for histrionics. He really rose to prominence during that unheralded run in last year’s Aussie Open: he would go on to reach the semi-finals. He went on to reach two ATP Finals in 2018, claiming his maiden ATP title at on the hard-courts of the European Open. But things haven’t quite gone to plan this year for the man born in Johannesburg. Having said that, back-to-back round of 16 finishes in Miami and Indian Wells hinted at his hard-court chops. A terrible clay-court season was followed by a return to form on grass: Edmund reached the semi-finals in Eastbourne. He is coming off a solid quarterfinal run at Washington. Familiar issues of fatigue seemed to hamper Edmund.

Kyrgios leads the head-to-head 1-0, claiming victory in a tight three-set encounter at Queens last year. Edmund is a dangerous player on this surface, with that ‘Sunshine Double’ performance hinting at his potential. But perhaps that win in Washington may be a springboard for Kyrgios. At any rate, 19/20 for Kyrgios over Edmund looks a steal in my books.  

Round of 32 

Stan Wawrinka (13/20) 
vs Karen Khachanov (23/20)
With his cherubic face, it’s hard to believe that Stan Wawrinka is already 34 years old. You have to admire his attempts to regain his stature in the game following an injury-ravaged few years. The three-time Grand Slam Champion won his only Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo in 2014. He has reached three further finals, including the 2017 Indian Wells Final. But knee surgery last season threatened to end his impressive career. Wawrinka has enjoyed a decent enough season, reaching quarterfinals in Madrid, Qatar and Mexico. He also reached the final in Rotterdam, highlighting his abilities on this surface. But it was performance at Roland Garros that really suggested he could be back to his best, with a quarter-final defeat to compatriot Roger Federer signalling a significant comeback. He looked exceptional against Grigor Dimitrov in the opening round here, with that backhand simply singing.

Russian Karen Khachanov is part of a new breed of formidable hard-court talents pervading the men’s circuit. He enjoyed a real breakthrough in Masters 1000 tennis last year, starting with a semi-final appearance in the Toronto edition of this event last year. He followed that up with a scintillating victory at the Paris Masters, beating the all-conquering Novak Djokovic in the final. 2019 hasn’t quite lived up to that billing, but the Russian has still produced some consistent tennis. He reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final on the clay at Roland Garros, while a quarter-final at Indian Wells highlighted his love of these Masters 1000 events played on hard-courts. With the likes of Federer and Djokovic choosing to eschew this event, Khachanov will feel quietly confident going into this event.

With all the recent issues dogging Wawrinka, I was quite surprised to discover that the Swiss star leads the head-to-head 2-0 against his Russian foe. That includes a straight-sets victory in Doha earlier this year. I just got the impression of watching Wawrinka against Dimitrov that he is ready for a deep tournament run. Khachanov hasn’t been sensational this season and Wawrinka could be primed for an excellent victory here.

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets 

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