- Raonic Among Montreal Threats For Djokovic (via ATP World Tour)
Seeded seventh, Nadal is looking for a strong showing on the North American hard courts this summer to mount a charge in the race to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The Spaniard has won the Canadian Masters 1000 three times, most recently two years ago in Montreal. He opens his bid against Sergiy Stakhovsky or Canadian wild card Filip Peliwo.
- Rafa rocks Rogers Cup (via Tennis Canada)
Rafael Nadal stole the show on the opening free-admission practice day at Rogers Cup in Montreal. He worked out on the stadium court for almost two hours with Tommy Robredo and then spent the better part of a half hour signing autographs – first for fans inside the stadium and then when he finally made his way outside and headed to the players entrance.
If I was a tennis fan—well, I’m kind of a tennis fan! I always cheer for the girls that I am friends with—so Angie Kerber, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, the German girls obviously. And on the guys side, I always cheer for Rafa, especially now after his comeback. Because I feel like he’s a great fighter. I always cheer for Murray. It always changes—when Roger was winning everything, I was rooting for the other guy to have a go at the Grand Slam.
- Down the line: Novak Djokovic has fine hardcourt record but hasn’t matched it with success in NYC (via Sport360)
Things change fairly quickly in tennis though and perhaps that victory could spur Nadal on when he heads to the US. But he will have to attend to that dodgy shoulder that saw him struggle on serve throughout the week in Germany, because he would never get away with some of those serves against players not named Fabio Fognini.
- Playing Ball: Controlling the Uncontrollable (via tennis.com)
Richard Gasquet asks for the same ball after a winning point. Rafael Nadal must have his water bottles perfectly aligned after a changeover, and the baseline clear of clay before he returns serve. Serena Williams has worn the same socks throughout a tournament.
PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal’s first practice in Montreal