The previous time Daniel Nestor won the doubles title at the Canadian Open, he went on to win Olympic gold.
This time around, the challenge is even greater.
"We're the kind of team that can maybe beat anyone in the draw but, on the other side, we can probably lose to anyone in the draw, too, on a bad day," Nestor said yesterday.
"I think there are a lot of teams like that in the event where there are new partnerships ... I think it's going to be an interesting event."
One thing for certain, Nestor won't be playing with his regular tour partner, Serbia's Nenad Zimonjic, at the Olympics. At the Games in Beijing, he instead will be teamed with erratic Canadian Frederic Niemeyer. The two weren't much of a factor in Athens four years ago. When Nestor won gold in Sydney in 2000, he was partnered with Sebastien Lareau, the same guy he won the Canadian Open with prior to the Olympics.
Yesterday, in abbreviated fashion, Nestor and Zimonjic won the men's doubles at the Rogers Cup with a strange 6-2, 4-6, 10-6 victory over the brothers Bob and Mike Bryan. The match, shortened by irregular rules, ended with the Wimbledon champions victorious in all of 69 minutes, with only two sets and that odd 10-point tiebreaker played.
"We've had an unbelievable run," said Nestor, who almost looked excited by winning at home. Almost. With Nestor, the king of stoicism, you never really know. But it's clear that as he gets closer to retirement age, the more the Canadian crowd appears to appreciate his many successes.
Zimonjic, meanwhile, enjoyed being the anonymous -- albeit better -- partner and looked forward to next year.
"Hopefully, they'll say also my name," Zimonjic said. "Maybe next year they will say: 'Let's go whatever' ... you know."