Montreal Rogers Cup Day 03: Seeds fall, but favorites remain
By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin
(August 12, 2015) MONTREAL, Canada – It was a tough day for seeds in Montreal, but the main favorites for the title managed to get through to the third round. While Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Rafael Nadal and defending champion Jo-Wilfred Tsonga all survived some spirited fights from their opponents, Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic, Gilles Simon, Grigor Dimitrov and Gael Monfils were sent packing in the second round.
Nishikori, who entered the top 4 for the first time this week, had the most impressive win of the day. Except for a small hiccup in the start of the match, the Washington winner was flawless in his 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Pablo Andujar. Asked on the key aspects of his progression, Nishikori replied: ‘I think I’m little more patient than last year. I’ve been playing little more aggressive, but same time I have less unforced errors and I get more free points from my serve.’ Next up for Nishikori is Belgian 13th seed David Goffin, who has had a stellar year. Both players are on the small-side for the modern top players, but Nishikori did think it also has its advantages: ‘I feel like I have a good return, and I am faster than taller guys. Players like Ferrer, Goffin and I are doing well nevertheless, and it’s great to see all the different match-ups.’
While Nishikori is on the upswing of his career, Rafael Nadal has been having a difficult year by his standards. The Spanish champion did not win a French Open preparation tournament for the first time in more than a decade and his ranking has dropped down to number 9. A recent title on clay in Hamburg showed some signs of revival and Nadal, who has great memories in Montreal and is a crowd favorite, is looking to find his hardcourt game back in Canada. Despite getting broken in both sets when trying to close things off against Stakhovsky, Nadal showed signs of his old self and looked very happy with the 7-6, 6-3 win. ‘It was a good match overall. Only bad game I had was at 5-4 (in the first set), the rest was all positive. Important thing is winning; it gives you an opportunity tomorrow’. Next up for Nadal is resurgent qualifier Mikhail Youzhny, a former top 10 player now ranked at 107, who defeated 9th seed Gilles Simon in straight sets.
Youznhy wasn’t the only surprising winner today: fellow qualifier Donald Young, who just last week in Washington won his first main draw match since Miami, played inspired tennis to upset 5th seed Tomas Berdych 7-6, 6-3. He will face Ernest Gulbis, another qualifier, for a spot in the quarterfinals. Bernard Tomic, a 6-3 6-4 winner over US Open reigning champion and 6th seed Marin Cilic, Nick Kyrgios,who got through after a retirement by 3rd seed Stan Wawrinka who had a lower-back injury. Kyrgios made some inappropriate comments during his match against Wawrinka.
Also advancing were Gilles Muller (a winner over Gael Monfils in a third set tiebreak) and Jack Sock (who saved a match point in a grueling 5-7, 7-6, 7-5 win over Grigor Dimitrov) were also all surprising winners.
Other winners of the day included Andy Murray over Robredo, John Isner, who crushed the hopes of local player Vasek Pospisil, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (who worked hard to defeat Bautista Agut 5-7, 7-6, 7-5) and Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who saved a match point in the second set against Leonardo Mayer.
RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 12 AUGUST 2015
Singles – Second Round
 A. Murray (GBR) d T. Robredo (ESP) 64 75
N. Kyrgios (AUS) d  S. Wawrinka (SUI) 67(8) 63 40 ret. (back)
 K. Nishikori (JPN) d P. Andujar (ESP) 63 63
[Q] D. Young (USA) d  T. Berdych (CZE) 76(5) 63
B. Tomic (AUS) d  M. Cilic (CRO) 63 64
 R. Nadal (ESP) d S. Stakhovsky (UKR) 76(4) 63
[Q] M. Youzhny (RUS) d  G. Simon (FRA) 61 64
 J. Tsonga (FRA) d R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 57 76(6) 75
 D. Goffin (BEL) d S. Querrey (USA) 64 64
J. Sock (USA) d  G. Dimitrov (BUL) 57 76(5) 75 – saved 1 M.P.
G. Muller (LUX) d  G. Monfils (FRA) 63 36 76(4)
 J. Isner (USA) d [WC] V. Pospisil (CAN) 76(1) 46 63
[Q] E. Gulbis (LAT) d L. Rosol (CZE) 62 57 63
J. Chardy (FRA) d L. Mayer (ARG) 46 76(4) 62 – saved 2 M.P.
Doubles – Second Round
[PR] N. Djokovic (SRB) / J. Tipsarevic (SRB) d  R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) 63 57 10-3
 A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA) d M. Cilic (CRO) / R. Lindstedt (SWE) 75 64
R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) d  P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) 76(8) 67(2) 10-4
Doubles – First Round
F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) d D. Goffin (BEL) / D. Thiem (AUT) 63 16 10-8
F. Fognini (ITA) / T. Robredo (ESP) d R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) 62 75
D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d P. Cuevas (URU) / D. Marrero (ESP) 63 57 10-5
SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 13 AUGUST 2015
COURT CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
 N. Djokovic (SRB) vs J. Sock (USA)
Not Before 2:30 pm
G. Muller (LUX) vs  A. Murray (GBR)
Not Before 6:30 pm
Possible Time Change –  R. Nadal (ESP) vs [Q] M. Youzhny (RUS)
Possible Time Change –  D. Goffin (BEL) vs  K. Nishikori (JPN)
BANQUE NATIONALE start 12:30 pm
J. Chardy (FRA) vs I. Karlovic (CRO)
[Q] E. Gulbis (LAT) vs [Q] D. Young (USA)
N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs  J. Isner (USA)
B. Tomic (AUS) vs  J. Tsonga (FRA)
D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs  I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)
COURT 9 start 4:00 pm
 J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs F. Fognini (ITA) / T. Robredo (ESP)
 B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)
COURT 5 start Not Before 5:00 pm
After Suitable Rest –  J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) vs A. Murray (GBR) / L. Paes (IND)
After Suitable Rest –  M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) vs G. Monfils (FRA) / J. Tsonga (FRA)