The draw for the Rogers Cup held in Montreal was just posted. This is the first “Masters” event of the hard court season and will prove very interesting as it will be the first time some of the very top players will see action post-Wimbledon.
Here’s a look at the top eight seeds of what to look for —
#1 Roger Federer – Returning after his dramatic Wimbledon win and recent birth of his twins, will be interesting to see what emotional state he is in and his level of play. Heavy favorite to win.
#2 Rafael Nadal – What everyone has been waiting for. The return of “Rafa” to the big stage after pulling out of Wimbledon with knee problems. There’s a feeling that Nadal would need at least a semifinal run to assure everyone, especially himself, that things are looking good for the U.S. Open. If he loses earlier, talk of early retirement will start. It shouldn’t, but that’s what will happen.
#3 Andy Murray – Despite the letdown of Wimbledon, Murray actually excels best on the hard courts and should be the other favorite aside from Federer who he could face in the semis.
#4 Novak Djokovic – After a sub-par year, “Nole” will need a good hard court season to staunch the talk that he is a not a true contender for “World’s Best”. His potential matchup with Roddick in the quarters would be a true test to see if he is ready to challenge again for major titles.
#5 Andy Roddick – After Nadal, Roddick’s return is the next most anticipated after his Wimbledon loss. His fine form at D.C. shows that he has put that loss behind him and is ready for the U.S. Open. With Federer not in his section, Roddick could take advantage of a shaky Nadal and make a run to the finals.
#6 Juan Martin Del Potro – Del Potro won four hard court tournaments last summer so he has a lot of points to defend. He certainly has the game to give anyone headaches and could be the surprise player to make it all the way.
#7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – I was surprised to see Tsonga as the seventh seed since his year hasn’t been that great. He lost early in D.C. and I don’t expect him to meet Federer in the quarters.
#8 Nikolay Davydenko – Another player with something to prove, Davydenko is back in the top ten after winning several clay court tournaments in the last few weeks. I think his best form has passed and I don’t see him given Andy Murray much trouble should they meet.
Semis: Federer vs. Murray; Roddick vs. Nadal
Finals: Federer vs. Roddick