Rogers Cup: Tough draw for Djokovic - UBITENNIS
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Rogers Cup: Tough draw for Djokovic

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TENNIS – The Draw Ceremony of the Rogers Cup Master 1000 Tournament in Toronto was held today. Three.time Rogers Cup champion and this year’s Wimbledon winner Novak Djokovic attended the Draw Ceremony at the Ontario Legislative Building in Queen’s Park in Toronto. The potential quarter finals could be Djokovic vs Murray, Wawrinka vs either Dimitrov or Nishikori, Raonic vs Berdych and Federer vs Ferrer. Diego Sampaolo

 

The men’s draw

The women’s draw

Novak Djokovic will face a very tough tournament at the Rogers Cup which starts on Monday in Toronto. This year’s Wimbledon champion will face either Gael Monfils or Radek Stepanek in the second round and could square off Jo Wilfred Tsonga in the third round and 2013 Wimbledon champion and eighth seed Andy Murray in the quarter final.

Top-seed Djokovic will be looking to win his fourth Rogers Cup title after winning in 2007 against Roger Federer, in 2011 against Mardy Fish and in 2012 against Richard Gasquet. If he wins, he will become the third player to win 20 Master 1000 titles after Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer.

Murray will also face a second-round match against Australian rising star Nick Kyrgios who beat Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon reaching the quarter final.

The most important matches of the top-half draw of the draw will be 2006 Roger’s Cup finalist Richard Gasquet against Vasek Pospisil and Radek Stepanek against Gael Monfils. Pospisil, who reached the semifinal last year at the Roger’s Cup, beat Tomas Berdych this year in Washington

The second quarter of the draw features two potential third round matches like Kei Nishikori against Grigor Dimitrov and Stan Wawrinka and either Fabio Fognini or Kevin Anderson.

Wawrinka will start against Alejandro Falla in the second round or a qualifier. He could face a potential quarter final against either Nishikori or Dimitrov. The Bulgarian reached the semifinal in Rome and Wimbledon and won Acapulco, Bucharest and the Queen’s on three different surfaces

Nishikori will start against Phillip Kohlschreiber and the winner of the match between Austrian rising star Dominic Thiem and Giles Simon. Thiem lost the Kitzbuhel final against Belgian David Goffin.

In the third quarter of the draw last year’s Roger’s Cup finalist Milos Raonic could face Ernests Gulbis in the third round. Gulbis is always a dangerous and unpredictable player and reached a Grand Slam semifinal at the Roland Garros this year. The potential quarter final in this section of the draw could be Raonic against Tomas Berdych. This year’s Rome and Wimbledon semifinalist Raonic, who will start against the winner of the first round match between Jack Sock and Jurgen Melzer, finished runner-up to Rafa Nadal in the Roger’s Cup last year and will be looking to improve the result this year. Sadly Nadal has been forced to withdraw from Toronto and Cincinnati due to a wrist injury and may miss the US Open.

Berdych could face the winner of the first-round all-Spanish match between Roberto Bautista Agut and Feliciano Lopez. The other interesting first round match will be played Lleyton Hewitt and Julien Benneteau

Roger Federer, who won the Roger’s Cup title twice in 2004 against Andy Roddick and 2006 against Richard Gasquet, will start his US hard-court campaign against the winner of the first round match between Peter Polansky and 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz. The Swiss 17-time Grand Slam winner could take on either Marin Cilic or Denis Istomin in the third round, either David Ferrer or US giant John Isner in the quarter final and either Raonic or Berdych in the semifinal. Cilic-Istomin could be the most interesting first round match in the bottom half of the draw.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career

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Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.

 

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.

 

Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.

 

“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

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David Goffin reaches his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati

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David Goffin beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 on an overcast afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career and his 13th title match at ATP Tour level at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Goffin has dropped just one set en route to the final.

 

Goffin is returning to his best form this summer under the guidance of former Swedish player Thomas Johansson. He reached the final in Halle and his first quarter final at Wimbledon. He received a walkover after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from the match due to food poisoning.

The Belgian player started the match with two consecutive holds before breaking at love to open up a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line.

Goffin held his next service games to seal the opening set 6-3. Gasquet earned an early break to open  2-0 lead, but Goffin won five of the next six games with two breaks. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up served out the win at love in the 10th game after 1 hour and 16 minutes, as Gasquet sent his backhand long.

Goffin reached the semifinal in Cincinnati last year, but he was forced to retire due to an arm injury.

“I am very happy. It’s a tournament I like and I have played the best tennis in the past few years. I am really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”

 

 

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Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.

 

 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.

 

 

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