Rafael Nadal Favourite To Defend Rogers Cup Title
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Rafael Nadal has returned to defend his Rogers Cup title in his first event since Wimbledon, while Serena Williams is aiming to claim a historic fourth women’s singles crown from current champion Simona Halep.
The Rogers Cup is the first major event of the 2019 hard court tennis season, as part of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour Masters 1000 and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Premier 5 series of events.
Both singles tournaments are start tomorrow and conclude next Sunday (August 11).
The women’s competition is taking place at the Aviva Centre in Toronto and the men’s tournament at the IGA Stadium in Montréal.
Eight of the men’s world ATP top 10 ranked players compete in Canada, with the only absentees being Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic as they continue to recover from their epic Wimbledon final.
It leaves Spaniard Nadal as clear favourite, however, the likes of Austria’s Dominic Thiem, Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas should provide high quality opposition in the latter stages.
In the women’s singles, nine of the WTA top 10 are in action, including Australia’s world number one Ashleigh Barty and number four seed, Romania’s reigning champion Halep.
Williams is seeded eighth as she aims for her first Rogers Cup title since winning in 2015 at arguably the peak of her powers.
The top eight seeds in both the men’s and women’s singles get byes to the second round, meaning Nadal due to open his competition against either Alex de Minaur of Australia or a qualifier.
Barty’s competition is set to commence against either Sofia Kenin of the United States or Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Su-wei, while Romanian Halep will play either Kristina Mladenovic of France or a qualifier.
American Williams meanwhile will be preparing to take on Elise Mertens of Belgium or Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus in her second round match.
Barty, who has struggled with pain in her right shoulder, could be dethroned as world number one in Canada by either second ranked Naomi Osaka of Japan or third seeded Czech Karolína Plíšková.
Osaka must reach at least the third round to have a shot of overtaking Barty, while Plíšková needs to at least reach the semi-finals.