Canada’s home court success relies on doubles after Pospisil exit

He was the last Canadian standing in the singles draw of Rogers Cup in Montreal and Toronto, however on Wednesday Vasek Pospsil too was out on home court.

Pospisil lost his second round encounter in Montreal to American John Isner 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 6-3, bringing an end to the possibility of Canadian fans seeing one of their own lift either the men’s or women’s singles titles being contested in two cities simultaneously.

Vasek Pospisil at the 2015 Rogers Cup.

Vasek Pospisil at the 2015 Rogers Cup.

The previous day, Milos Raonic and Frank Dancevic exited the Montreal draw. Prior to that on Monday Filip Peliwo and Philip Bester also lost (more on this below).

In the women’s draw taking place in Toronto, Eugenie Bouchard’s season-long slump extended to a loss against Belinda Bencic on Tuesday, while Gabriela Dabrowski, Francoise Abanda and Carol Zhao were also ousted in the first round.

Canadians are still alive in the doubles draw, however. All-Canadian teams of Abanda with Heidi El Tabakh, and Zhao partnering Sharon Fichman on the women’s side are slated to play second round matches. In the men’s draw Daniel Nestor continues with French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Is 2015 Vasek Pospisil’s time to shine?

A month after he reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, Pospisil was once again the bright light for Canadian tennis as he was the lone man to advance in the singles draw at the Rogers Cup.

RELATED: Bouchard feels turnaround is near despite early Toronto exit

Vasek Pospisil reacts during his second round win on Tuesday.

Vasek Pospisil reacts during his second round win on Tuesday.

One of four Canadians granted a wild card entry to the home tournament, he opened his campaign with a first round 6-4, 6-3 victory over qualifier Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei, who he’d also defeated just a couple of weeks ago at the Atlanta Open. Pospisil had a chance to serve for the first set but gave up his only break point of the match. However he broke right back to take the first. Although he needed five match points to close it out, he never really wavered in the second set to move on to face American John Isner.

Vasek Pospisil is the only Canadian remaining in singles competition at the Rogers Cup.

Vasek Pospisil is the only Canadian remaining in singles competition at the Rogers Cup.

“I felt like in general it was a good match but I definitely felt like I could have played better and done some things better so I’m just happy I survived that one and got the win in front of the crowd and can relax a little bit for the next one,” said Pospisil.

The last time the men played in Montreal two years ago, Pospisil made it all the way to an all-Canadian semifinal against Milos Raonic. With them placed in the same quarter this year, some people were looking ahead to another potential showdown, but not Pospisil.

“I don’t even really know what part of the draw he’s in to be honest, I don’t know where I’d meet him,” said Pospisil. “But I’m definitely looking to do well this week… Try to visualize myself going deep in the tournament. I know I can do it and I know I can play better than today.”

The all-Canadian quarterfinal won’t come to fruition after Raonic lost his opener, a second round match against Ivo Karlovic, 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-1). This was just Raonic’s third tournament since right foot surgery on May 13 and his first action since Wimbledon.

As a top-seed, the Raonic loss would be deemed an upset.

As a top-seed, the Raonic loss would be deemed an upset.

The eighth-seeded Raonic, who had a first round bye, was sitting on 199 ATP World Tour singles wins heading into the meeting with the 6’11” Croatian, one of the few players on tour that the 6’5” Canadian has to literally look up to. With two big servers, it was no real surprise that both sets went to a tiebreak.

While Raonic could only get in 62% of his first serves (51% in the first set), Karlovic got in 22 aces to bring his career total to more than 10,000, just the second player to ever break that milestone. Raonic held off numerous break points in both sets, including three match points in the second, but ultimately Karlovic got out front early in both tiebreaks to take them easily.

Milos Raonic was the tournament's eighth seed.

Milos Raonic was the tournament’s eighth seed.

Canada’s final singles player in action was Frank Dancevic, who dropped his first round match 6-2, 6-4 to 48th-ranked Spaniard Pablo Andujar.

On Monday, two Canadians had also fallen in the singles draw. Filip Peliwo lost to 60th-ranked Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 6-1, 5-7, 6-2. Peliwo had been down 5-2 in the second set but won a string of five games to force the third. The other Canadian was Philip Bester, playing in the main draw for the first time since 2007, who lost 6-2, 6-3 to Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller.

Bester was back on the court in doubles on Tuesday with fellow Canuck Adil Shamasdin but they lost their opener 6-3, 6-4 to Marin Cilic and Robert Lindstedt.