The Rogers Cup is the biggest tennis event annually in Canada and one of the most unique events on Tour. It’s a Masters 1000 event for the men and a Premier 5 for the women, but the ATP Tour version is held in a different location from the WTA Tour – they alternate between Montreal and Toronto. This year, the men are playing in Montreal and the women in Toronto. Here’s a look at the Sports Interaction Rogers Cup favourites.
Rogers Cup Men’s Draw
The men are competing at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal. Unfortunately, some of the biggest names are not competing due to injury. That includes current world No. 1 Andy Murray of Great Britain and former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia.
Murray, a three-time champion of this tournament (last in 2015), is dealing with a hip injury that could put his status for the upcoming final major of the season, the U.S. Open, in doubt. Murray didn’t look healthy in trying to defend his Wimbledon title. Murray also missed the 2016 Rogers Cup to prepare for the Olympics. Djokovic beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-5 in last year’s final to win the Rogers Cup for a fourth time. However, Djokovic’s season is over due to an elbow injury.
Also out of the Rogers Cup are world No. 4 Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland (done for year) and No. 6 Marin Cilic of Croatia. He was runner-up at Wimbledon last month.
Roger Federer Odds Favorite
The +134 betting favourite is the all-time Grand Slam king Roger Federer, who is having an amazing season at age 36 – he turned that Tuesday. Entering this tournament, Federer is 19-2 this year, winning both the Australian Open and Wimbledon, the latter for a record eighth time. Federer skipped the French Open but is a leading candidate for ATP Tour Player of the Year. Even if Federer, ranked third in the world, wins this tournament for the first time since 2006, he cannot reach No. 1 quite yet.
Spain’s Rafael Nadal, who won a record 10th French Open earlier this year, is the top seed here and can reach the top spot in the world simply by reaching the semi-finals. Nadal has won the Rogers Cup three times, last in 2013. Nadal and Federer could only meet in the championship match.
Canada’s Milos Raonic is the +900 third-favourite. He’s seeded sixth and is Nadal’s portion of the draw. Raonic has yet to win this tournament but reached the 2013 final, losing 6-2, 6-2 to Nadal. Raonic has had a disappointing season with no titles partly due to injury concerns.
In most tournaments, the men play best 3 of 5 sets but it’s 2 of 3 in the Rogers Cup.
Rogers Cup Women’s Draw
The women compete at the Aviva Centre in Toronto. The one big name who isn’t is American Serena Williams, out for the year due to pregnancy. She has won the Rogers Cup three times.
There’s a three-way tie for the favoured status between Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza at +800 each. Pliskova is the No. 1 seed and it’s her first tournament since becoming the 23rd woman to reach No.1 in the world. The 25-year-old is the first player representing the Czech Republic to reach the top spot since the computer rankings were introduced in 1975. Pliskova is a big server and has more aces on tour than any other player in 2017.
Second-seeded Halep is the defending champion, beating American Madison Keys (who had to pull out of this year’s event), 7-6 (2), 6-3 in 2016 to win the Rogers Cup for the first time. The last woman to win Montreal and Toronto in back-to-back years was Martina Hingis in 1999-2000. Muguruza is seeded fourth and won Wimbledon last month, beating Venus Williams in straight sets.
Venus, who is in the same quarter of the draw as Muguruza, is +1400 this week and former world No. 1 Angelique Kerber a +1475 long shot. Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard (+6500), now down to 70th in the world after once reaching as high as No. 5, was given wild-card entry to the tournament and is set to play Croatia’s Donna Vekic on Tuesday. The winner faces Kerber.
Rogers Cup Predictions
With the men’s draw weakened, Nadal and Federer should reach the final with Nadal coming out on top. On the women’s side, Pliskova is the choice.