Raonic and Pospisil Face Last 16 Challenges at Rogers Cup

Al Dannity | Updated Aug 08, 2013


And then there were two. Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil are the last Canadians standing at the Rogers Cup and both will be underdogs on Thursday. Al Dannity breaks down their matches.

This is it for Milos Raonic. He’s playing his home tournament, just weeks away from the US Open, and he’s got a chance to prove himself. 2013 has been a source of frustration for Raonic fans. There has been progression but nowhere near what was hoped. This is a player with the tools to be an all-time great but there are dozens of men on tour with those fundamentals. To get to that next level, Raonic needs to start picking off players he’s not supposed to beat. Today he’s +147 underdog against Juan Martin Del Potro. Delpo is supposed to win. It’s up to Raonic to make sure he doesn’t.

Wednesday certainly gave some hope to Raonic fans. The 6-4 6-4 sweep of Mikhail Youzhny was a step up from his laborious win over Jeremy Chardy a day earlier. The protégé is starting to click. Now all he has to do is beat a former US Open champion. On his day, Delpo is a match for anyone. He may not be in the big four but beating him sends out a message. Raonic will show that he’s not happy waiting for those ahead of him to age out of contention. He wants to win and he wants to do so now. This is the perfect platform.

The situation facing Vasek Pospisil couldn’t be any different. Pospisil has been playing with house money from the start of this tournament and he’s turned it into a place in the last 16. For Pospisil to get this far in a Masters Series event is huge. Even if he has home advantage, the Canadian doesn’t need to win another point to consider this week a success.

That’s just as well because Pospisil is a deserved +382 underdog against Tomas Berdych. The Czech is frustrating to watch at times but more often than not he disposes of those ranked below him with ease. Having had 7 Canadians still in the singles competitions yesterday, it’s more than likely that home representation ends on Thursday. Milos Raonic however will have something to say about that. I’m going against the odds here. I like the Thornhill, Ont. player to advance to the Quarter Finals and set up a match with Wimbledon champion Andy Murray.