Two-time defending champion Andy Murray was sent packing in his opening match at the Rogers Cup by big-serving Kevin Anderson of South Africa. Anderson pulled off the second top-ten victory of his career with relative ease as he advanced by a score of 6-3, 6-1 in only one hour and nine minutes.
Blame it on the media, myself included, for confidently predicting a top-four semi-final finish here in Montreal. Of course we should have realized that with five weeks off since Wimbledon, anything was capable of happening.
Murray said he has been training hard in Miami to acclimatize himself with the hot summer conditions that often accompany this time of year in North America. Instead today the weather was relatively mild with cloud coverage permeating the skies.
The Scotsman did not hold back in his own assessment of his play today. “I just felt very slow,” he mentioned. “The game seemed to be going so fast. Yeah, I mean, it’s happened to me already once this year. I’ve trained really hard to get ready for the tournament. I’ve always played very well here. Today I couldn’t get anything going. I started both sets really, really badly which doesn’t help against someone that serves like Kevin. I was down a break early. Yeah, didn’t get anything going at all.
On the bright side for the world number four, he will be playing doubles here this week with his older brother Jamie. While normally merely using the doubles to hone his singles game he revealed that he always tries to put a bit more into his efforts when supporting his brother.
“When I play with Jamie, I obviously want to try to win because that’s his career, where he makes his money,” Murray said. “Tournaments like this, there’s a lot of big ranking points which aren’t at stake at some of the other tournaments he plays. If we can do well here, it’s really good for his ranking. I always try and play my best when I’m playing with Jamie.”
They will open Wednesday against the all-Canadian duo of Erik Chvojka and Pierre-Ludovic Duclos. If all goes according to plan Murray can get the match play he obviously still needs while also helping big brother with his own career ambitions.
The loss of Murray opens of his section of the draw leaving 6th seeded Mardy Fish along with perhaps the 14th seeded Stan Wawrinka as the leading candidates to advance.
In other daytime action completed today, Richard Gasquet of France got things started off on Center Court by soundly defeating Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-2. The pair had a closely contested Davis Cup match a month ago where Gasquet had to battle back from being down two-sets-to-one, but things were much more routine today. Gasquet will next face Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil.
Canadian prospect Vasek Pospisil ranked 155th in the world had the second biggest upset of the day as he sent 22nd ranked Juan Ignacio Chela home early by a score of 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Pospisil was down a break in the third but managed to use the home crowd support to his advantage and claw his way back into things. Life won’t get any easier for Pospisil as he will next face Roger Federer in the world number three’s first match on tour as a thirty year-old.
Other completed results today go as follows:
Philipp Petzschner d. Gilles Simon 7-5, 6-2
Sergiy Stakhovsky d. Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 7-5
Michael Llodra d. Mikhail Youzhny 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4)
Viktor Troicki d. Michael Yani 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
Michael Russell d. Albert Montanes 7-5, 6-2
Janko Tipsarevic d. Alejandro Falla 7-5, 6-1
At 8:20pm ET the night matches have all been postponed until Wednesday by constant rain fall.
Photos credit by Bob McIntyre
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