Five Canadians will step up to Rogers Cup action in Montreal today. Al Dannity previews their matches and those of Canada’s two women in action in Toronto.
With a total of seven Canadians playing singles matches at the Rogers Cup today, it promises to be an action packed day and night of Tennis. The headline draw, without question, is Milos Raonic. The Canadian number 1 and 11 seed takes on Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny on Centre Court in Montreal. Raonic took three sets to get past Jeremy Chardy of France yesterday but he should still win as -132 favourite.
Jesse Levine will precede Raonic onto Centre Court. Levine recorded a straight sets victory over Xavier Malisse in his last outing but faces Rafael Nadal in a huge clash today. Vasek Pospisil will be the first Canadian in action today as he takes on Radek Stepanek. While the Czech is favoured at -204 I am not counting out Pospisil who beat the big-serving John Isner in three sets on Wednesday. Frank Dancevic faces a huge step up in class on Court 9. Dancevic, who beat Lu Yen-hsun in straight sets yesterday, must contend with Jerzy Janowicz. The Pole made it to the semi-finals at Wimbledon and is surging up the rankings this year. I don’t like Dancevic’s chances as a +250 outsider.
The most surprising Canadian still in action is Filip Peliwo. Matched with Jarko Nieminen of Finland on Tuesday, Peliwo dropped the first set before fighting back to win the second 7-5. Peliwo broke Nieminen and led 3-1 in the third when the Finn retired and Peliwo advanced. To keep the dream alive, Peliwo will really have to overcome the odds. Our odds-makers have him as +461 outsider against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin. Having swept aside 16 seed Janko Tipsarevic in the first round, Istomin will expect to enjoy similar success today.
While Canada’s men, save Raonic, face an uphill struggle today and life doesn’t get any easier for the women in Toronto. Eugenie Bouchard’s reward for beating Alisa Kleybanova on Tuesday is a clash with Petra Kvitova, the 8 seed and former Wimbledon champion. Sharon Fichman, who beat fellow Canadian Stephanie Dubois on Tuesday, goes up against 15 seed Jelena Jankovic. The one bright spot for both is that Kvitova and Jankovic are inconsistent against player they are expected to dominate. The likely scenario is that Wednesday will see Canada’s representation in the Rogers Cup drop from seven to one after today. If you bet $1 on all 7 winning and they came through, you’d get over $11,000 back. With those odds, a sweep isn’t happening but I think Levine and Bouchard might yet upset the books.