Rogers Cup 2018: Is Rafael Nadal’s draw good or bad?

World no.1 Rafael Nadal attended the official draw ceremony for 2018 Rogers Cup presented by National Bank on Friday afternoon.

The sixth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event of the season will be played from August 6 to August 12 in Toronto.

After a first round bye, Rafa will play the winner of a match between a qualifier and Benoit Paire on Wednesday night. He could face Nick Kyrgios in the third round, prior to a quarter-final against Marin Cilic.

Photo via Getty Images

Rafa’s potential route to the final:

  • First round: Bye
  • Second round: Beniot Paire
  • Third round: Nick Kyrgios or Stan Wawrinka
  • Quarter-final: Marin Cilic
  • Semi-final: Juan Martin del Potro
  • Final: Alexander Zverev or Novak Djokovic

If the men play to seed the quarter-final line up will be:

  • Rafael Nadal vs. Marin Cilic
  • Juan Martin del Potro vs. John Isner
  • Kevin Anderson vs. Grigor Dimitrov
  • Dominic Thiem vs. Alexander Zverev


View Singles Draw

Rafa has won the Canadian title three times, most recently at Coupe Rogers in 2013. He is bidding to win the trophy for the fourth time and add it to his collection of 32 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns.

Our champ reached only third round last year, where he fell to Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-7(4).

Good luck and Vamos Rafa!


  1. Stan won his match against Kyrgios today 1-6, 7-5, 7-5. Very happy for him and may he continue his road to full recovery.

  2. Today’s match between Chung vs Djokovic has been canceled; Chung pulled out due to back injury. The match will be Basic vs Djokovic.

  3. Today’s best score goes to Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman who won against Britain’s Kyle Edmund: 6-1, 6-2.

    Kevin Anderson and Novak Djokovic are playing doubles. I am hoping the “sleep gods” sprinkle a lot of their sleep powder on the both of these guys soon.

  4. Following are some excerpts from Rafa’s Media Day comments to reporters.

    “I believe whatever happens here or in Cincinnati will not have an impact on the US Open. Certainly good results are great for for building confidence but the conditions here are totally different from what I will encounter in Flushing Meadows.

    You have to go tournament by tournament. I know from experience that if I play well here and Cincinnati it’s a little easier to play well at the US Open, but it would not be the deciding factor. Last year I did not play well here but I had a great tournament in the Grand Slam. In 2005 I won here but lost in the third round at the US Open.

    If you play well and win in these two events [Toronto+Cincy] it generates extra confidence to be motivated at the US Open, but if you lose it’s not important. As I have said before, the conditions are completely different.”

    Asked about how he’s feeling physically after months of competition:

    “I am now 32-years-old and not 18. I understand life differently, how I approach things is a little different. But on court I continue to feel the passion that I felt when I first started to play. With the right spirit and daily work I can continue to win titles.”

    He may have been asked about Wimbledon but I didn’t see the question:

    Rafa: “That’s already in the past. This is a new tournament.”


  5. For those who missed it, the entire draw ceremony can be found at:

    YouTube France New Rafael Nadal 2018 Rogers Cup Draw Ceremony


    My apologies. Yesterday I announced that Del Potro was in the hospital suffering from heatstroke. NOT TRUE

    I just checked and he will play Fognini in the Los Cabos final today. Needless to say I am happy I was wrong.

    Just goes to show even a well-regarded fan club makes errors. I will now stick to his interviews and press conferences for any news.

    • Margo, Those things happen. I was surprised to see that Fognini beat Delpo last night and fairly easily. Maybe he was still rusty from his time off?

      • va4favre, surely a low point for him. I thought he was a shoo-in for the title.
        He didn’t make king of Mexican clay.

        Had he won Los Cabos all of the Spanish-language articles I read had him moving up to No. 3 if Zverev didn’t defend his DC title. Pressure…even though Los Cabos is only a 250?

        In its article, La Nacion posed this question to itself, “What happened to Del Potro’s game and strategy in the final?”
        DelPotro: “A little bit of everything failed. My backhand was not doing anything and Fabio took note of that; I couldn’t do any damage from that side. When I play against a rival as smart as he is it makes it difficult for me to win.”
        [Source: LaNacion, 5 agosto 2018]

        I do know there were numerous reports of him complaining about the heat during the week. I hope he is okay.

  7. The FACTS

    The 1996 US Open draw was controversial because of the METHOD in which it was made.

    [1] The draw was made BEFORE the seedings were made/released,

    [2] Seedings were not conducted according to convention, i.e. ATP rankings [Wimbledon does this]. This was never communicated to players.

    [3] By fiddling with the seedings, it had the appearance of the draw favoring the some players by bumping them up in the seedings.

    [4] The draw itself was never in question, it was a combination of 1-3 above and the threat of a boycott by ATP players that forced the USTA to redo the draw. The seedings stayed the same.

    The USTA was also accused of bowing to pressure from commercial entities, TV, among others. Of course, all accusations were met with denials.
    [Source: NYTimes]

    I was under the impression that draws are a public affair. If so, how can a draw be made to favor one player over another if we know the seedings?


    • Margo, Thanks so much for posting this. I was curious to know what had happened. There was a recent controversy with a WTA tournament where the event did not use the most recent rankings, but the ATP did. I am a typical Rafan that I grumble about Rafa’s draws. I do believe that they are random otherwise the entire integrity of tennis is questioned. After Roger, Rafa is by far the most popular tournament. What director does not want Rafa there? He is a huge attraction and he is so fan friendly. How often have we seen Rafa still sign autographs even after the most disappointing losses. I have heard more than one director say Rafa is their favorite player.

      • Obviously I meant to say player instead of tournament. I wish we had the edit option.

      • va4favre, you’re welcome. When things don’t make sense to me I have to find out why. I was curious too as 1996 predates my tennis-watching “habit” if you will.

        If the articles I read are accurate, this incident was not done in the dark, or sneakily, or behind closed doors. It was done in plain sight unlike what current tournaments are being accused of doing by some Rafa fans.

        From what I read I think ATP players were more aggrieved by having their seedings disregarded, after having worked so hard during the season to raise their rankings, than anything else. The Wimbledon winner had the chance to become world No. 1. His anger was such that he pulled out of the tournament and flew back home. The players who stuck together and let their grievances be heard should be commended. At the time, a tournament was within the rules if they tinkered with the seedings. That was the reason given for not correcting the seeds to align with rankings. I don’t know if this is still the case, except for Wimby.

        Grumbling about Rafa’s draws is no big deal. What I find disturbing is that accusations of draw fixing to favor a different player over Rafa are constantly made without any proof. Rafa was right there and was also looking behind himself as the names were being inserted. He was following the draw in real time.

        Re the WTA business, was it about Serena’s seeding? If it was, Serena left the tour to give birth. Not injury. There are no rules for moms coming back. I am not a Serena fan but I also don’t feel she should have had to “qualify” to play in a tournament. A 23-time Grand Slam winner having to be unseeded or to “qualify?” Gimme a break. Of course there are those who disagree like the female player who had to qualify to play. I think that’s how it went.


        As I said last year, everyone is looking to make a buck off of the back of Rafa. Of course they want a much-loved and exciting champion at their tournament. He sure gave Wimbledon their money’s worth and more. They won’t admit it but Roger’s loss had to have been a big pill to swallow. But that’s sport, as Rafa says.

      • va4favre, one very important detail was left out. The first draw, the one that started the problem, was thrown out. The next day, a second draw was made and was accepted for the tournament. Sorry about that.

      • Rafa is always a big draw and at least as popular as Roger. French Open hasn’t suffered due Federer’s not playing because he knows he will not win.. Rafa is praised constantly by tournament directors for his courtesy towards and respect for everyone

    • Very naive these replies. Players who play as many matches as the big four and get as many draws as no. 1 and no. 2 should have built up over the years a history of good and bad draws that in the end, all equals out fairly. Alas, Federer has gotten many more easy draws than Rafa and the worst hand has been dealt to the less commercially interesting Serb. You can argue against this all you want but statisticians have confirmed that there is really a super low chance that a difference like this could even occur in a fair, random system. Your nativity lies mostly in the fact that you ignore the commercial interests. Of course all the commercial channels, the sponsors and the organizers want their weak era king in the final each and every time. They will do what they can to make that happen. And yes that includes trying to slow down the march of competititors who are threatening that incredible legacy. How can someone still even call that incredible with Rafa and Djoko so clearly both better.

  8. Hi all, as usual Rafa has not the best draw in a tournament. But as he is a player growing with his tasks on court. The draw is the best test for the upcoming hard court season. To defend his title he has to play against the tough ones. I’m sure he will let us take part to a great tennis show. Vamos Rafa and Good Luck to you!

  9. first of all i dont want to speak about a wimbeldon fiasco he still reached the semifinal which is incredible for the first time since 2011. That semifinal against djokovic i think will always be controversial and talked about I mean what would have happend if nadal converted those setpoints in the third set breakpoints what would be the outcome had he converted those breakpoints at 7 all final set and what would have happend had they played under a open roof we may never know the real story about the roof now this is a new tournament. The draw is tough but challenging and gives nadal the opportunity to rebuild his confidence. Challenging will be against krygios, cilic, del potro i hope he will face djokovic in the final

    • mjus, I do agree with you about Wimby but read the “fiasco” reference as pertaining to the roof and not Rafa’s semifinal loss.

      Is there a fan with a third interpretation?

      I hope his confidence is way up there in the stratosphere and that he can mix it up to get his opponents off balance.


      • The truth about the Wimbledon Fiasco is that Chokovic was a sissivic and Cheatervic. The rule is they at to play with an open roof unless absolutely not possible because it is an out door tournament. That is the RULE. Chokovic cried like a sissy to the umpires because he knows Rafa is handicapped indoors and they obliged him. Not only that, Chokovic cried to take 8 time Champion and the defending champions place on center court, which lead to Roger Federer getting KO’d on court 1. Chokovic cried himself to a title. There’s no arguing that. Chokovic is a sissivic and a Cheatervic.

      • There is no explicit Wimbledon rule covering the sequence of the roof closures prior to and during the Rafa vs Novak two-day match.

        My personal opinion is the roof should not have been closed on Friday prior to the start their match; not to say it would have changed the outcome of the match, or that it wouldn’t have been closed anyway on Saturday.

        Wimbledon is steeped in tradition. And regarding the above there is a protocol. The protocol is that both players have to agree with either a closed roof or an open roof.

        Richard Lewis, Wimbledon’s chief executive, said, “The referees’ office were unanimous in saying the match must be played under a roof unless both players agree. I think we will clarify it.” Let’s see how they clarify the new policy.

        Regarding Novak’s complaints about not playing on center court: Lewis said Djokovic’s request was not a decisive factor. Instead, he said the scheduling committee simply felt Nishikori vs. Djokovic and Rafael Nadal vs. Juan Martin del Potro were the two “marquee” men’s matches of the day. “It just felt right that Roger and Kevin were put on No.1 Court.”

        Henceforth the goal will be to rotate marquee players and matches more regularly between Center and No. 1, according to Lewis.

        “I think because of the roof on Centre Court, all of us, not just the organizers but the players, have slipped into thinking that there was this huge difference between Centre and No. 1. But it will be good to have two courts on pretty much equal billing.”

        Does he really believe players and fans alike will perceive Center Court and No. 1 as being equally prestigious? Maybe in the very far future

      • Agree nothing wrong with Rafa’s confidence, circumstances in Wimbledon were a major factor against him

  10. It’s a tough draw but nothing Rafa can’t handle if he’s fit and, importantly, confident. I think we’ll see the real result of the Wimbledon fiasco here; whether it’s shaken his confidence which Rafa has had hard battles to maintain, or whether he’s still riding high on the level he reached at Wimbledon and the brilliant last couple of seasons generally. As Rafa once said ‘I may not win but I’m not going to lose’. Hopefully we’ll see this incredible spirit maintained. VAMOS RAFA!

  11. Rafa got a hard ass draw but Chokovic got a hard ass draw too lol…. this looks like a fun Tournament! The final should be Rafa vs Chokovic and I hope Rafa pops Chokovic in the face again lol!!!

  12. Rafa all the best for your tournament.

    Love and prayers,


  13. Rafa good luck vamossssssssssss all the way you can do it 🎾🎾🎾🎾👍👍👍👍❤️❤️❤️❤️😘😘😘😘🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾👍👍👍👍👍

  14. Dear Rafans, I am proud to share our love of Rafa, but enough on the draw complaints. Either the draw is really legitimate or tennis has a huge issue. Rafa was present for the draw. This year HC season will be much tougher than last year. Not only is Novak back, but others like Delpo, Sascha, Kei, and others are playing better. i have seen draws that look difficult only to see surprising upsets. I thought Roger had an easier draw at Wimby, and then he loses to Anderson. i do believe Rafa had an easier draw at the USO last year, but then Roger lost earlier. I have never heard Rafa complain about the draw and just takes it match by match. We Rafans should follow his example.

    • va4favre, I was about to ask you your opinion of the draw when I saw your comment. I do agree.

      On paper it may look tough but as you said surprises are bound to happen, hopefully in Rafa’s favor.

      I knew Rafa would most likely have another bataille royale on his hands when Toronto announced that most of the top twenty were going to compete. They may as well have said top forty. I knew it was going to be a very strong field.

      Rafa will have to play his arse off from the start; finish his matches as quickly as possible to conserve energy for the tougher matches.

      Nick retired mid-match at Atlanta due to his hip problems and withdrew from the Citi Open so I am VERY surprised to see his name. Stan lost his first match at D.C. this week so both of these players are question marks, as I see it.

      I hope Rafa finds his rhythm early and wishing him a great tournament.

      • Hi Margo, I swore after Wimby that I would only look at the first round or two at future draws. I knew that Toronto would have a great field and no rest between matches like a slam. I don’t think Rogers will have the weather problems that we had in WDC this week. I am trying to get over the “roof” but don’t blame Novak. I did not want Rafa to play Shapo or Novak early. My hope in Toronto is for Rafa to play well and go deeper than last year. After seeing Andy’s tears, I just want Rafa to stay healthy. No tournament is the same without Rafa.

      • va4favre, thank you for responding.

        For me, there is no tournament without Rafa.

        I was happy for Andy reaching the QF but his tears were probably brought on from exhaustion and relief. It’s possible he did not believe he would go that far. He has pulled out of Toronto which is very smart considering the three tough matches he played at D.C.

        I am guilty of looking at Rafa’s draws but I keep in mind that they usually change during the course of a tournament. I want Rafa to make minced meat out of every opponent 🤕.

    • Damn, this is a hard ass draw… as long as he gets a cake walk USO draw, I don’t give a shit about masters draws. I only care about him winning Grand slams now. Cheatervic stole Wimbledon from Rafa with his incessant Crying which got Roger upset on court one and Closed the roof to handicap Rafa at the outdoor tournament. I’ll be damned if he steals the USO from Rafa.

      • TOTAL AGREE W/YA!!! i will NEVER watch Novak play again ..unless its
        against RAFA. Total Respect for Rafa a true sportsman..Nole who has a HOLE
        in his heart will Never Be.

  15. Rafa never gets an easy draw. They’ve thrown everything at him – lefties, hardhitters, great servers and he’s still No 1. If you look at all his matches he has to play at least two semi-finals and two finals to win. Compare his draw with Federer and Djokovic and you’ll see how they make it easier for them to get through. This has been going on for a long time. Rafa never complains because he’s a champ but they’re doing everything in their power to stop him from having the most slams. Good luck Rafa, we know that you’re the best and there’s nothing they can do to stop you.

    • The draw is random, but I agree Rafa has gotten the shaft on the grand majority of draws. 3 more slams to Tie Roger! That’s all that matters!!!

      • The draw is not random per se. There is no independent third party guaranteeing that the draw is done fairly. Remember the US open 1996 when all was exposed…

    • Who is “they?” Can you supply names? Proof?

      Can you explain what you mean by “they?” Thanks.

      • I’m talking about the tennis establishment. All you have to do is listen to the commentators and how biased they are. Rafa is relentless (repeated ad nauseum), brutal, sneaky etc. He gets more time violations than anyone else. No matter how brilliantly he plays all they can talk about are the times he lost.

      • Yolan, I asked the question in response to your August 4th comment. Your entire comment was about “they”.

        You also continued with comparisons of Rafa’s draw[s] with Roger’s and Novak’s. In response to your comment today, commentators have nothing to do with the draws.

        Rafa has had some seemingly favorable draws that turn out unexpectedly difficult. And he has had some tough ones that result in easier wins. And he has had some tough draws that are tough throughout. As I see it, the tough opponents he encounters are there because they are tough. BUT SO IS RAFA. If he doesn’t play his best he will lose. Who would have thought Shapovalov would beat him last year. I sure didn’t.

        Relentless? Rafa is relentless. He is NOT GOING TO GIVE UP. He’s got grit. He’s got game. He’s got determination. I’ve never heard “relentless” used as an insult to describe Rafa.

        Brutal? He is brutal to his body. He is brutal to the poor balls subjected to his powerful strikes. If I were a ball, I would deflate before having to be hit by Rafa’s racquet. His style could be called brutal…he is a POWERFUL man. I watched a short video on Twitter last week and all the comment was “listen when he strikes the ball, that sound.” I also read an article or two recently referencing his ball speed. You have to hit a ball brutally hard to get high speed. All compliments. THWAK!

        Time violations? You know as well as I do that Rafa has a long-standing battle with time management. It’s a miracle he hasn’t received more violations. But I do think he has gotten a lot better.

        Why not talk also about the recent incident where Rafa was supposed to be ready to play or maybe it was warmup. He said he knew time was up but stayed seated anyway. I believe it was the same umpire who had given him a time violation at a different tournament and was then threatened by Rafa. Other players have complained about Rafa being given preferential treatment. So there you go.

        I also understand that that’s the way Rafa plays. Everything has to be in perfect order before he hits a ball; his bottles, his hair, his nose, and yes his shorts. All of this takes time. He’s a big boy, He knows the rules.

        What I worry about is the shot clock. Will umpires be smart enough and fair enough to be impartial after a long rally. Will the clock be stopped to give players time to recuperate to go on to the next point. Or will the umpire stick to the 20-second rule between points? And serves?

        Sneaky? I’ve never read anything about Rafa being sneaky. Who, what, where, when? And in context please.

        On being asked about his loses?
        If it’s just after a loss, it’s understandable.

        One thing that bothers me is the huge poster Rafa posed in front of for his picture to be taken by the media in Toronto. Have you seen it? The poster has Novak in the background, a HUGE Novak, and in front of him is a MUCH smaller picture of Shapovalov on the left and a just as small one of Rafa on the right. Rafa is world No. 1, Rafa has won three Rogers Cups, and SEVENTEEN GS’s. Why isn’t his picture the larger of the three? I don’t think it’s fair but before I start making accusations I have to find proof to substantiate any accusations. And I am very surprised no one here has mentioned it. To me, this is POSTERGATE.

        Rafa wins because he is a great champion.

        RAFA ROCKS

  16. I completely agree with you.annette. he never seems to get a break when it comes to his draws. He is my all time favorite player.go rafa!

  17. ” PILAR MARÍA PARILLI VAZQUEZ…. You belhíssima admiring,since Venezuela for you Rafael Nadal…. in this moment am seeing in you Facebook Page the notification of the draw for The Roger Federed Cup,was seeing the Drawing Table and overcoat the possibles players which was playing you,questions to yours Fans how the seem to everyone about this draw in particular and which would be their opinion the respect,leave me to say thee that that draw seemed me well,believe that the players that was playing with you the majority are easiest to conquer for you,I believe that you can to win the to they if you thee the proposes,then you already has played with they in many opportunities and always the has could to win… well Champión this draw is good for you and think that thee resulted very easy to play with yours adversaries,clear are to exceptión of NOULE of course and think that was playing without so much pression now that in this tournament wasn´t playing the talentouse Roger Federer,for the that think that you can now to have much more opportunity to play and to win.Good Rafa,here am,expecting you great beauty debut there in The Roger Cup,expect that thee can to go well and that has all the more ¡ Good Luck ! of this world there for you,am pendent of you Champion,with all my heart now more that never put in you…. bye…..”

  18. I have always thought that Rafa always seemed to be dealt a bad hand with it come his draws
    Before I say this let me say I am a diehard Nadel fan. Rogers always seems to get the easy ride.

    These are good players, and I would never say that Rafa cannot win. Because I believe he can. I just sometimes wish that he could get a break and work of to the good plays.

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