Top seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal and second seeded Roger Federer of Switzerland , the two top contenders at the Roger’s Cup in Montreal, have advanced to the pre quarter finals after each dropping only 3 games on Wednesday. Federer, who turned 36 on Tuesday was the first on court as he wasted little time in dispatching little known Canadian Peter Polansky 6-2, 6-1 to set up a meeting against another Spaniard David Ferrer. Nadal too was equally impressive in his 6-1, 6-2 win against Borna Coric of Croatia who had earlier beaten the Spaniard in Basle, almost three years ago.
The headline of the day was grabbed by the 18 year old local lad Dennis Shapovalov who halted the 2009 runner up Juan Martin Del Potro, 6-3, 7-6(4). The left handed Shapovapov, better known for hitting the chair umpire accidentally in the decisive Davis Cup match last year which led to his team’s disqualification, failed to serve out the match in the twelveth game of the second set, and just when it looked that the tall Argentine would send the match to a decider after leading 4-1 in the tie-break, Shapovalov claimed six of the next seven points and next plays Nadal who will regain number one ranking if he reaches the last four. Another Canadian, Milos Raonic continued his disappointing season after bowing out 4-6,4-6 to the Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.
Federer next plays the veteran Spaniard David Ferrer, the winner of the clay court event in Bastaad, Sweden last month. Ferrer ended the hopes of the American Jack Sock 7-6(7), 3-6, 6-1. Another Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut accounted for another American Ryan Harrison 7-5, 6-2. There were mixed results for another GenNext Americans as Jared Donaldson prevailed over the Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-2, 7-5; while the lucky loser Ernesto Escobedo was bundled out by Robin Haase of Netherlands 6-4, 6-1.
Another America, Sam Querrey, winner of the event last week in Los Cabos, Mexico, upset the 2014 champion Jo Wilfred Tsonga, seeded eight, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4. He next plays the South African Kevin Anderson who beat the 11th seeded Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, 6-3, 7-6(6). There were mixed fortunes for the Zverev brothers, 4th seeded Alexander Zverev, winner last week in Washington, beat the Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(3). Seventh seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria accounted for the elder sibling Mischa Zverev 6-3, 3-6,6-3. Other winners included 16th seeded temperamental Aussie Nick Kyrgios who beat Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 6-3. The GenNext star Hyeon Chung upset David Goffin of Belgium, seeded ninth, 7-5, 6-3.
In matches which were completed on Tuesday, Argentine Diego Schwartzman upset the Austrian Dominic Thiem, 6-4,6-7(7),7-5. Frenchman Gael Monfils also upset the fifth seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan, 6-7(4),7-5,7-6(6).
Following is the list of matches in the round of sixteen with my pick mentioned first :-
Rafael Nadal (1) v. Dennis Shapovalov (-)
Roger Federer (2) v. David Ferrer (-)
Alexander Zverev (4) v. Nick Kyrgios (16)
Grigor Dimitrov (7) v. Robin Haase (-)
Gael Monfils (-) v. Roberto Bautista Agut (12)
Diego Schwartzman (-) v. Jared Donaldson (-)
Sam Querrey (-) v. Kevin Anderson (-)
Adrian Mannarino (-) v. Hyeon Chung (-)
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@]