There are seven spots up for grab in Rogers Cup presented by National Bank’s main draw on Sunday, as the qualifying event concludes during the 407 ETR Free Community Weekend.
It’s those winners that will join the stars of the ATP World Tour from Monday as the tournament kicks off in full, with world No.1 and three-time Rogers Cup champion Rafael Nadal leading the field.
Sunday is the day to catch them all – both qualifiers and established names – up close and personal around the Aviva Centre, as the headliners head to the practice courts and the 14 remaining qualifying participants look for those coveted seven spot.
Not a bad line-up for a free day of tennis, right?
American Ryan Harrison, ranked No.57, is the top seed in qualifying and meets Nicolas Mahut, the French veteran, in a must-see match up. They’ve met three times, with the 36-year-old Mahut leading 2-1, including a match just a few weeks ago on the grass in Newport.
Canada has a lone representative in the final round of qualifying in former junior world No.1 Filip Peliwo. Peliwo beat world No.64 Malek Jaziri on Saturday by a score of 6-4, 7-5 to meet Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka for a shot in the main draw.
Peliwo, who won junior Grand Slam titles in 2012 at Wimbledon and the US Open, is looking for a third main draw appearance at Rogers Cup, but first via qualifying. It’s also a first meeting between him and Nishioka, a scrappy baseline player.
Four other Canadians were in action on Saturday in the first round of qualifying, with Brayden Schnur, Frank Dancevic, Alexis Galarneau and Benjamin Sigouin all bowing out.
Twenty-two year old Daniil Medvedev from Russia is another player who could be a future star. He meets American Mackenzie McDonald for a main draw spot, McDonald having nearly beaten Andy Murray last week in Washington, D.C.
While the fiercest competition might be going on in the qualifying event on Sunday, there will be plenty of competitive juices flowing as the annual Sportsnet ball hockey game takes place on Centre Court from 1:30 PM.
The game features some of the top stars of tennis pitted against NHL stars and is open to the public.
Elsewhere, you can find the stars practicing tennis – not ball hockey – around the grounds. While no schedule is available, fans on Saturday caught the likes of Rafael Nadal hitting up with Grigor Dimitrov, Novak Djokovic trading baseline punches with Marin Cilic and more.
Also honing their games for Rogers Cup on Saturday were Canadian Denis Shapovalov and Peter Polansky.
If you don’t have it already, be sure to download the Rogers Cup app, where you can get live scores, the daily schedule of play and more. And do you have your tickets for the rest of the week? They’re still available.
By the end of the day we’ll know all 56 players set to compete for the honor of being Rogers Cup presented by National Bank 2018 winner. And championship Sunday? That’s exactly a week away.