The 2017 edition of the Rogers Cup – formerly known as the Canadian Open and currently identified as well as the Canada Masters – has been marked by a lot of injury pullouts this year.
Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, and Marin Cilic are just some of the players who won’t participate in the first big hardcourt event of the summer ATP season in North America. These aren’t merely four notable absences – they are all in the top 10, meaning that players ordinarily outside the top five and the top 10 will be seeded within those parameters. These casualties mean that for the first time since 2011, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are the top two seeds at a Masters 1000 event. Federer and Nadal are the favorites to win the U.S. Open, so Montreal could provide a preview.
The competition in the 56-player main draw begins on Monday, August 7.
Event: Rogers Cup / Canada Masters
Category: ATP World Tour – Masters 1000
Date: August 7 – 13, 2017
Location: Uniprix Stadium – Montreal, Quebec, Canada
With a purse of over $4.6 million, the Canada Masters is the first in a series of prestigious events during the hardcourt summer season. Canada and Cincinnati both offer substantial purses for ATP pros, as the lead-ins to the U.S. Open in late August. It’s a chance for any strong hardcourt player to make a move after (perhaps) struggling on clay and grass in Europe for several months.
Champion – 1,000
Runner-up – 600
Semifinal – 360
Quarterfinal – 180
Round of 16 – 90
Round of 32 – 45
Former Champions and Results (5 Years)
Year Champion Runner-up Score
2016 – Novak Djokovic def. Kei Nishikori – 6-3, 7-5
2015 – Andy Murray def. Novak Djokovic – 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
2014 – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Roger Federer – 7-5, 7-6
2013 – Rafael Nadal def. Milos Raonic – 6-2, 6-2
2012 – Novak Djokovic def. Richard Gasquet – 6-3, 6-2
Like most of the Masters tournaments on the yearly ATP Tour schedule, the Canada event has a 56-player main draw with the top eight seeds getting a bye in the opening round.
The big news here, with the draw having been released, is how much the injury-based absences have affected the nature of the tournament. With Djokovic and Murray in, Nadal and Federer would have had to brace for difficult semifinals. Now, the two top-four seeds joining Federer and Nadal are Dominic Thiem (third) and Alexander Zverev (fourth). Thiem has never played well in a tennis season after the French Open. It will be a major challenge for him to play well on hardcourts, as shown by his early-round loss to Kevin Anderson earlier this week in Washington, D.C.
Zverev is in the Washington semifinals, but he has not had to face high-caliber opposition. Canada will be a huge test for him, which makes it hard to identify the players who can stand up to Federer and Nadal in Montreal.
The best choices are probably (for Nadal) John Isner, who has made multiple Masters 1000 finals and eight Masters semifinals. His huge serve could bother Nadal in a best-of-three-set match.
Federer’s biggest threat could be Jack Sock, who is also in the Washington semifinals and who made the semifinals of Indian Wells earlier this year… losing to Federer in what was a competitive match, especially the second set.
Milos Raonic, a Canadian playing in his home country, has not looked good at all this season, but he could face Nadal in the quarterfinals. If Nadal reaches the semifinals, the Spaniard will regain the World No. 1 ranking, overtaking the absent Murray.
Uniprix Stadium is built on the site of Jarry Park, the baseball stadium which was the original home of the Montreal Expos from the team’s founding in 1969 through 1975, before Olympic Stadium was built in 1976 and became the new home of the Expos. The central stadium court has 8,000 seats, and the Uniprix Stadium tennis complex contains 12 hardcourts to facilitate the tournament, which rotates between the WTA and ATP every year – the same happens for Toronto and the Aviva Centre complex. Montreal hosts the ATP in odd-numbered years, the WTA in even-numbered years.
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