Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks back on the week that was in the world of tennis. This week, Charles Blouin-Gascon previews the 2017 Rogers Cup.
This year, the tennis world stops in Montreal…and Toronto. Welcome to the joint event that really isn’t joint in any way.
Every year, the Rogers Cup offers fans the chance to cheer on their favourites from both the WTA and the ATP. The Canadian Open, this tournament used to be called, and like we said it’s a joint event… except, maybe not? Every year, one half of the Rogers Cup unfolds in Montreal while the other does so in Toronto. Both cities are in Canada, yes, and in neighbouring provinces at that, but they’re a good five or six hours apart; good luck with the commute. So how combined is this event, really?
In any case, enough with stuff you already know. This year’s edition is a little more wide-open than we’ve grown accustomed to in years past from a tournament of this renown. Let’s look at both main draws and see if we can predict what might unfold.
At first glance, the women’s main draw seems like a fairly egalitarian one, where we can envision plausible scenarios for a handful of players to emerge victorious. That’s fun, right?
For now, Karolina Pliskova doesn’t really have to worry about becoming the new Grand Slam-less world No. 1; the US Open doesn’t come for another few weeks, and the US Open series is where you prepare for a great US Open so the pressure won’t mount just yet.
This week is the Rogers Cup, and Pliskova shouldn’t have too much difficulty making it through to the quarterfinals. In the second section, we’ll give the benefit of the doubt to Eugenie Bouchard, but only to some extent. The lower half of the draw is much tougher in our opinion, by which we mean that we believe the 2017 Rogers Cup champion will emerge from there.
Quarterfinals: Karolina Pliskova over Agnieszka Radwanska; Johanna Konta over Eugenie Bouchard; Garbine Muguruza over Venus Williams; Simona Halep over Jelena Ostapenko
Semifinals: Johanna Konta over Karolina Pliskova; Garbine Muguruza over Simona Halep
Final: Garbine Muguruza over Johanna Konta
This year at the Rogers Cup we have Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer but otherwise, the main draw is much, much more open than we’re used to: absent are Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stanislas Wawrinka and Marin Cilic, just to name a few. This draw, then, is ripe for a few surprises.
Nadal may be towering over the top section, but it could turn out to be rather tricky, with Milos Raonic, David Goffin and the winner of the Juan Martin Del Potro/John Isner first round match all vying for big things. We’ll give the nod to the 26-year-old Goffin. In the second part, Alexander Zverev should emerge unscathed if he can overcome Nick Kyrgios in the third round—if the Australian even goes so far? In the lower half of the draw, let’s roll with Dominic Thiem and Roger Federer, with a little surprise in the semifinals.
Quarterfinals: Rafael Nadal over David Goffin; Alexander Zverev over Sam Querrey; Dominic Thiem over Tomas Berdych; Roger Federer over Gael Monfils
Semifinals: Alexander Zverev over Rafael Nadal; Dominic Thiem over Roger Federer
Final: Dominic Thiem over Alexander Zverev
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG