Pospisil's win a Federer in his cap

Vasek Pospisil hits a return to Juan Ignacio Chela at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Que., Aug. 9,...

Vasek Pospisil hits a return to Juan Ignacio Chela at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Que., Aug. 9, 2011. (CHARLES WILLIAM PELLETIER/QMI Agency)

BRIAN DALY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:32 PM ET

MONTREAL - Vasek Pospisil of Vernon, B.C., won't have much time to celebrate his first career ATP tour victory.

His 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph Tuesday over Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela at the Rogers Cup was a satisfying and crowd-pleasing win that sets up a showdown with arguably the greatest player in history - Swiss superstar Roger Federer.

Pospisil said he has followed the 16-time Grand Slam winner ever since he was a young boy in British Columbia.

"He became my favourite player ever since he won his first (Grand) Slam," said Pospisil, who played warmup rallies with Federer at the 2008 Australian Open.

"I'm just going to go out there and enjoy it and try to give him a good match (Wednesday)."

Pospisil earned the date of a lifetime by dominating his second-round matchup with precise drop shots and volleys, coupled with a blistering serve that produced seven aces against Chela.

After dropping the first set, the 21-year-old Canadian settled down and overwhelmed with his power game, breaking Chela's serve three times including a decisive third-set break to take a 5-4 lead.

When the South American's forehand return sailed long to end the match in the following game, Pospisil pumped both fists, let out a yell and raised both hands in the air as several thousand fans rose to their feet and roared their approval.

He admitted that the possibility of playing his boyhood idol had given him a boost against the 22nd-ranked Chela.

"It was a little bit of extra motivation," said Pospisil, who has jumped to 155th in the world from 340th in January.

"I felt like I had a good chance to win today so I really wanted to come through so I was able to dig deep with that in the back of my mind, too, it probably helped me out a little bit today."

His coach, Frederic Niemeyer, should have some tips for his young charge. Niemeyer gave Federer a tough battle at the 2009 Rogers Cup before losing 7-6, 6-4.

Pospisil's win overshadowed the first big upset of the Rogers Cup, as Britain's Andy Murray delivered an uninspired performance in losing to unseeded South African Kevin Anderson.

Murray, the two-time defending champion, made 19 unforced errors, including five double faults, and failed to win a break point during a 6-3, 6-1 second-round loss. The world No. 4 was trying to become the first player to win three consecutive Rogers Cup titles since Ivan Lendl's hot streak from 1987 to '89.

"It's just a really bad day," said Murray, who will stay in Montreal to play doubles with his brother, Jamie.

"I just felt very slow. The game seemed to be going so fast. I started both sets really, really badly which doesn't help against someone that serves like Kevin."

Anderson has had a breakthrough year, winning his first ATP title on home soil in Johannesburg. He said his strong serve was a big factor in the win.

"The way I served today, I think I did make it pretty tough for him," Anderson said. "I executed very well.

"He definitely gave me a few free points here and there, but it's always tough putting away opponents, especially when they're as good as him."

In the first singles match at centre court earlier Tuesday, 10th-seeded Frenchman French Richard Gasquet trounced Florian Mayer of German 6-3, 6-2 in just 69 minutes.

Gasquet moves on to face unseeded Thomasz Bellucci of Brazil in third-round action.

Heavy rain washed out the evening session, including a scheduled match between top seed and current world No. 1, Serbian Novak Djokovic, and Russian Nicolay Davydenko. The match, and the entire late draw, was pushed back to Wednesday.

Former No. 1s Federer and Rafael Nadal were to begin play Wednesday following first-round byes.

brian.daly@sunmedia.ca


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