World No.1 Rafael Nadal was on hand Friday afternoon to help make the 2018 Rogers Cup presented by National Bank draw at Bisha Hotel in downtown Toronto. “I’m very excited to come back to Toronto,” said Nadal, who is playing here for the first time since 2010. “[My win here in] 2008 was so special, because that victory [helped] me reach world No.1 for the first time. I’ve missed this tournament many more times because of tough injuries, so I’m looking forward to be back at a tournament that I love.”
The three-time Rogers Cup champion will face the winner of Benoit Paire versus a qualifier on Wednesday night at the Aviva Centre.
The official draw ceremony for the 2018 edition of Rogers Cup took place at the Bisha Hotel in downtown Toronto and contains 19 of the top 20 players in the world. Canadian No.1 and 2017 Rogers Cup semifinalist Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON) will start his campaign on Tuesday night against Jeremy Chardy, who he defeated in the first round of this year’s Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic will play Hyeon Chung in a mouth-watering first round encounter of the tournament. Djokovic, who is fresh off the back of winning his fourth Wimbledon title, was defeated by the South Korean in the fourth round at this year’s Australian Open and will be hoping to avenge that loss as he bids for a fifth Rogers Cup title in Tuesday’s day session on Centre Court.
In an all-Canadian Aviva Opening Night on Monday, August 6, Milos Raonic (Thornhill, ON) will face world No.11 David Goffin of Belgium. Rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime (Montreal, QC) will also make his Rogers Cup main draw debut against world No.19 Lucas Pouille. The 17-year-old Canadian will be bidding for just his fourth ATP Tour-level victory when he takes on the Frenchman for the first time.
Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver, BC) will be looking to exact revenge on Borna Coric when the two face off in the first round in Toronto. World No.21 Coric defeated the Canadian in four sets in the Davis Cup first round earlier this year in their only previous meeting. Peter Polansky (North York, ON) will face Australian Matthew Ebden.
Three-time champion Andy Murray has opted not to take his wildcard after withdrawing from the Citi Open in Washington with fatigue.
“Sadly I won’t be able to take my place in the draw in Toronto,” said Murray. “I’d like to thank the tournament for a wild card, I always love playing in Canada but I’ve played quite a few matches this week in Washington and I need to be smart with my rest and recovery as I come back from injury.”
Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, himself coming back from an injury last year, takes up Murray’s main draw wild card and faces Australian Nick Kyrgios in another blockbuster first round clash.
Defending champion Alexander Zverev is on the opposite side of the draw as Nadal as the No.2 seed, while Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro is seeded third. Grand Slam champion Marin Cilic, Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson as well as the always-dangerous Grigor Dimitrov and Dominic Thiem also help to make a stacked men’s field.