Toronto Masters: Top seed Rafael Nadal leads field with eye on extending grip atop rankings; Andy Murray withdraws


Toronto: High-ranked Rafael Nadal will likely be working to extend his grip atop the rankings on the ATP Toronto Masters, an occasion which misplaced an exhausted Andy Murray previous to Monday’s begin.

Britain’s Murray, winner of three matches in 4 days this week in Washington, withdrew from Washington and Canada on Friday after ending his newest victory after three am, breaking down in tears after the match.

However the cumulative effort was an excessive amount of for the 31-year-old Scotsman, who underwent proper hip surgical procedure in January.

Rafael Nadal in Montreal for the Rogers Cup. Picture courtesy: Twitter @RogersCup

“I am exhausted after enjoying a lot over the previous 4 days, having not competed on the arduous courts for 18 months,” Murray mentioned.

“I additionally have to be cautious and to take heed to my physique as I come again from a long-term damage.”

The previous primary, now ranked 832, was enjoying the third occasion in his slow-running comeback after first returning in June on grass in Britain earlier than withdrawing from Wimbledon.

World quantity two Roger Federer is skipping Canada and can return on 13 August in Cincinnati, the place Murray can be anticipated.

Federer, limiting his schedule to increase his longevity, turns 37 on Wednesday.

Nadal will likely be making his first look on court docket since a five-set Wimbledon semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic.

With many of the rankings prime 10 in Canada, Nadal’s path to a possible fourth title within the nation after 2005, 2008 and 2013 will likely be a predictable problem.

The Spaniard resumed coaching just lately on his house island of Mallorca after spending off-time crusing.

Nadal opens play on Wednesday in opposition to both American Jared Donaldson or Frenchman Benoit Paire, fined $16,500 this week for a racquet-smashing outburst in Washington.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion is not trying forward at different potential foes reminiscent of Swiss three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka or Australian Nick Kyrgios.

“I can’t take into consideration Wawrinka, Kyrgios, Joao (Sousa) earlier than enjoying Benoit or a qualifier,” Nadal mentioned.

“I do know the primary spherical goes to be a troublesome battle. However the full draw would not distract me from being targeted on that first spherical.”

“I all the time take it match by match. That is what I’ve finished all my life. That is the one means, for my part, to have success.

“That you must respect all opponents. In tennis, issues change so shortly, so you want to be prepared to simply accept each victories and losses.”

Second seed Alexander Zverev will defend his crown after beating a tiring Federer within the 2017 title match on the occasion, which alternates yearly between Toronto and Montreal.

The 21-year-old German has proven he has the sport to problem the elite, successful Masters 1000 trophies in Rome, Montreal and Madrid.

However his weak point thus far has been the Grand Slams, the place the NextGen expertise can boast only one quarter-final from Roland Garros final spring.

Along with his big-match format suspect, sturdiness has additionally been a latest drawback for Zverev.

He misplaced at Roland Garros in his third successive five-set match as he performed Ernests Gulbis and was examined in a pair of three-setters in Washington.

Zverev will come to Canada having had little probability to relaxation and regroup, beginning with both Spain’s David Ferrer or a qualifier.

Third seed Juan Matin del Potro will likely be hoping to make up for a second-round loss a 12 months in the past, taking up both Japan’s Kei Nishikori or Dutchman Robin Haase.

Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson takes the fourth seeding, the South African to open in opposition to Russian Andrey Rublev or a qualifier.

Wimbledon winner Djokovic begins with South Korea’s Chung Hyeon, an Australian Open semi-finalist bothered by damage a lot of this season.

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