Welcome to Road to Rogers Cup, the weekly roundup of all the action on the ATP Tour ahead of the 2019 Rogers Cup presented by National Bank at IGA Stadium from August 2 to 11.
This week, we’re running through the Australian Open, which crowned its 2019 champions last weekend.
For the last two weeks, tennis fans were transfixed by the Australian Open, the season’s first Slam. Striving to impress in Melbourne’s scorching heat, the players nearly made us forget the snowstorm that hit in our neck of the woods.
When all was said and done, 31-year-old Novak Djokovic substantiated his World No.1 ranking with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win over Rafael Nadal (2). In the final, the Djoker was flawless with only nine—yes, NINE—unforced errors.
Coming into the final, Nadal hadn’t lost a set, even after taking on former World No.4 Tomas Berdych and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who toppled Roger Federer in the fourth round and pushed the Swiss Magician out of the Top 5 for the first time in almost two years. For the up-and-comer from Greece, the win was epic:
“I’m the happiest man on earth right now, I can’t describe it. Roger is a legend in our sport. I’ve been idolizing him since the age of six. It was a dream come true for me just being on Rod Laver and facing him. And winning at the end, I can’t describe it.”
Fans eagerly awaited the clash between Nadal and Tsitsipas but ended up disappointed when the Spaniard pulverized his opponent in three (6-2, 6-4, 6-0).
As for Djokovic, he dropped a set in his third- and fourth-round matches against Shapovalov and Medvedev. He then breezed through his duel with Kei Nishikori, who was forced to retire, and knocked out Lucas Pouille (6-0, 6-2, 6-2).
For the record
Next weekend, teams across the globe will face off in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas qualifiers. Who will make it to the finals in Madrid? Stay tuned!
Canada was well represented in Melbourne. Félix Auger-Aliassime, Brayden Schnur and Peter Polansky didn’t find their way into the main draw, but Denis Shapovalov and Milos Raonic were accounted for. In the third round, Shapovalov went head-to-head against Novak Djokovic and lost in four (6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0). In the quarters, Raonic was caught off guard by Lucas Pouille after expelling Alexander Zverev (4) in the earlier round.
Photo: Ben Solomon/Tennis Australia