Rogers Cup 2018 Preview

The 129th edition of the Rogers Cup will be contested between August 6-12, hosted this year by Toronto (ATP competition) and Montreal (WTA competition). On the ATP event, the big missing is Roger Federer, who declared “forfait”, attending the upcoming Cincinnati Masters. The Swiss failed to defend his Wimbledon title and will now try to win the US Open.

As a result, the top seeds that can meet in the final, if everything goes normal, are Alexander Zverev and Rafael Nadal. Zverev is the last year’s winner, when he defeated Federer in the final. Nadal, on the other hand, has only to win if he has a good run in Toronto. The Spaniard can add up to 1,000 points in case he wins the tournament, expanding the gap at the top to more than 2k points, between him and Federer. In this game of points and leaders there’s a new player, Djokovic, who, after winning Wimbledon, has come back to the shape of the past. It will be hard for Zverev to defend his points if we think he is on the same half of the table with Djokovic and Dominic Thiem (who is not a hardcourt specialist).

In the upper half, Nadal also has his problems. The Spaniard can meet Nick Kyrgios as early as the the third round and if the Australian is in top form, Nadal will have an extremely difficult mission. Also at the top of the table are Marin Cilic and Juan Martin Del Potro, two players who feel excellent on fast surfaces.
Another interesting match played in the first round is Kyrgios vs Wawrinka (Stan the Man received a wildcard). Neither Djokovic had an easy match in the first round, the Serbian playing against Hyeon Chung, a South Korean player of great talent.

All Top 10 players are present in the women’s competition. Apart from Kerber, none of the top 5 players have shown a great shape in the latest tournaments. Simona Halep had a poor performance at Wimbledon, then took a long vacation. Caroline Wozniacki had the same route, the last tournament won being Eastbourne. Svitolina continues with very weak form in recent months and Sloane Stephens was defeated at the Citi Open by Andrea Petkovic (ranked 91 in the WTA).

Still, if we look at the annual performances, Simona Halep seems to be the favourite. The Romanian played the Australian Open final, then won Roland Garros and, if we leave Wimbledon, seems to be the best. Another player worth watching at the Rogers Cup is Mihaela Buzarnescu, the fresh winner of San Jose, ranked now 20th in the world.

In the upper half of the table, alongside Halep, there are Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova, all very good players on hardcourts.