Four Canucks in Rogers Cup field

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:35 PM ET

The field is set, the final qualifiers determined, the real business of the semi-annual visit by the best men’s tennis players in the world to Toronto is ready to go.

Any lack of Canadian content in the draw — there are only four homebrews in the singles field — is more than made up for with the talent at the top of the seedings where Spaniard Rafael Nadal, coming off wins at both Wimbledon and the French Open goes gunning for his third title and second in a row with the men in Toronto.

The last time the men were in Toronto in 2008, Nadal took out Germany’s Nicolas Kiefer in the final. Last year in Montreal, it was Englishman Andy Murray, the No. 5 seed this year, defeating Juan Martin del Potro for his first title on Canadian soil.

Among those to watch from just outside the top seeds is No. 5 Robin Soderling of Sweden who knocked off Federer in the quarters at the French Open before succumbing to Nadal in the final.

Also quite capable of upsetting anyone in the tournament is Czech Tomas Berdych, the No. 7 seed this week.

Berdych was the giant-killer at Wimbledon, knocking off both this week’s No. 2 and 3 seeds in Novak Djokovic and Federer on his way to a loss in the final to Nadal.

Berdych has five titles in his career but has not won one this year, despite banking more than $1.7-million US in winnings.

No top seeds

The singles draw begins Monday at the Rexall Tennis Centre at York University, but there will be no signs of any of the top eight seeded singles players until Tuesday as they all have byes.

Fans can catch both Nadal and Djokovic in doubles action Monday night in a rare partnership between the two giants of the singles world.

Nadal and Djokovic will take on the Canadian duo of Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil in a one of the later matches of the evening.

Despite their singles success, the star-studded duo is unranked. The top billing in doubles belongs to Canadian Daniel Nestor and Serbian Nenad Zimonjic who have a first-round bye.

In the singles draw, only four Canadians made the field, all of them as wild-card entrants.

Raonic will have a busy first day as he’s also on court in the afternoon in singles action taking on Victor Hanescu.

Peter Polansky of Thornhill will play in the evening draw taking on Jurgen Melzer.

There was a chance a fifth Canadian would make it into the singles field but that died yesterday when Philip Bester failed to get past American Michael Russell in qualifying. Russell made short work of Bester taking out the North Vancouver native 6-2, 6-2.

The main singles draw begins today with Frenchman Richard Gasquet facing Sergiy Stakhovsky of the Ukraine on centre court at 11 a.m.


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