Rogers Cup: Men's preview

August 3, 2012 04:21 PM
"It's always a pleasure to be in Canada - the fans make it feel like home for me," says two-time Rogers Cup Champion Rafael Nadal. "I have very nice memories from when I won in Toronto 2008."
By J. Fred Sidhu, special to
Defending champion Novak Djokovic will attempt to win his third career Rogers Cup presented by National Bank title, as the top players on the ATP World Tour play in a 48-player draw. The talented Serb had a record-breaking performance last year in Montreal, becoming the first player to win five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles in one season and the only active player to win a title in his debut tournament as the world No. 1. The Big Four of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray has dominated the Rogers Cup over the last eight years, with each player winning two titles during that span. A tough field of contenders will attempt to break their stronghold on the championship, with a draw that includes two-time semifinalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, three-time quarterfinalist Tomas Berdych, 2011 semifinalist Janko Tipsaravic and Juan Martin del Potro, who reached the singles final in 2009.
Looking Back:
In 1881, James Garfield was inaugurated as the 20th President of the United States. That same year, Isidore Hellmuth won a tennis event in Canada. Today, that event is known as the Rogers Cup, the oldest ongoing tennis tournament after Wimbledon and US Open.
One to Watch:
Milos Raonic, the Canadian tennis star who enters the Rogers Cup as a direct entry for the first time. The hard-serving 21-year-old captured titles in San Jose and Chennai this year but is still looking to win his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event.
Did You Know?
The Harlem Globetrotters will play at Rogers Cup on Saturday, August 4, during "Family Weekend" festivities while men’s qualifying matches take place. The Globetrotters will play their first outdoor game in Toronto on a temporary sport court in the main stadium.