Rogers Cup Toronto – Wild Card Wawrinka Wins, Auger-Aliassime Gives Himself Early Birthday Gift with an Upset, While Countryman Shapovalov Advance
(August 7, 2018) TORONTO – The second day of action from the Rogers Cup in Toronto featured several big names and closed play on the first round. Perhaps the most anticipated match of the day was also the first, featuring Stan Wawrinka and Nick Kyrgios. Both players have been struggling with injuries through out the season, and it was ultimately Wawrinka who was able to turn the match around and take it in just over two hours, 1-6, 7-5, 7-5.
After the match, Wawrinka was mostly happy to receive a wild card and get back on to the court. “I’m grateful I got the wildcard to play directly in the main draw. I knew it was going to be a tough match. Winning 1-6, 7-5, 7-5, it’s great for me. Any victory is good to get more confidence. “
“I’m happy with the way I’m practicing. I’m really happy with the level and the way I’m moving on the practice court, and I need to find how to put it in the match.”
One of the biggest stories of the day was the first chance for many locals to see Felix Auger-Aliassime play live. The young phenom did not disappoint and took care of Frenchman Lucas Pouille in an hour and 17 minutes, 6-4, 6-3. The Canadian turns 18-years-old on Wednesday, and will take on qualifier Daniil Medvedev in the second round.
“I think I’m feeling strong physically. Also the fact that I’ve played a lot of matches, you know, on any surface, you know, playing a lot of matches, winning a lot of matches gives you confidence. So I think playing on clay, that’s what I was able to get, confidence that I could win; that I could, you know, finish these matches; that I could go deep in tournaments.”
Felix was not the only Canadian to make noise on the day, as Denis Shapovalov dispatched Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 6-4 in just 63 minutes. The 19 year-old impressed yet again with his forehand, and was able to hug the baseline for most of the match and take time away from his opponent and was never broken.
All week long the young Canadian credited the crowd in Montreal for his excellent showing in the tournament last year, and has experienced similar feelings at home in Toronto. “For some reason, whenever I’m at home, I just seem to loosen up with the crowd. And I just enjoyed myself out there today. It was really fun to be on that center court with so many people watching.”
“Rogers Cup, for me, it’s not another week on the tour. It’s a bonus week. I get to play at home. It’s an honor for me to go out there in front of all my fans and just put on a show. “
Shortly after Shapovalov’s victory, play was delayed for the night due to heavy rainfall, and Borna Coric and Marin Cilic were not able to play a point until around 11pm local time. Earlier in the day, Hyeon Chung was forced to withdraw due to a back injury and was replaced by lucky loser Mirza Basic, who was defeated by Novak Djokovic in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6(3).