The Coupe Rogers or known by us in the United States as the Rogers Cup will not have multiple winner Roger Federer in the draw. Don't worry though because even with Federer's absence (1) Novak Djokovic, (2) Andy Murray, (3) David Ferrer, (4) Rafael Nadal and friends field what should be a thoroughly entertaining action-packed week in Montreal.
Oh Canada. Featuring the creme de la creme is why this is one of my top five favorite tournaments outside the Grand Slams. The top eight players receive byes. Argentine (6) Juan Martin del Potro will gladly take one after fighting American John Isner to the death in Sunday's Citi Open Championship.
Czech (5) Tomas Berdych, Frenchman (7) Richard Gasquet and Swiss (8) Stanislas Wawrinka will also be happy to know they can scout and rest in round one for their next opponent. Berdych will either see South African Kevin Anderson or Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Tyrone's 2013 Men's Rogers Cup Draw of Death: (3) Murray and (8) Wawrinka may be the only ones with a tougher second-round nemesis. No matter the tournament it always seems Andy is given the toughest draw among the four seeds and in Montreal it's no different. Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov or Spaniard Marcel Granollers will neither be entirely smooth sailing for the Scot.
Dimitrov is 0-3 versus Murray, but twice pushed Andy to opening-set tiebreakers. All three of their tussles were on hard court and Grigor comes off giving German (10) Tommy Haas all he wanted before bowing out in two tiebreaks.
Granollers conversely is 2-3 against the Scot winning twice on clay including their last fight in Rome coming in Murray retirement fashion. The first two times Marcel and Andy dueled were in 2004 and 2005 challengers so the bad blood has been brewing for awhile.
Even if the Scot is able to get through his first match some eloquent shotmakers and characters lay ahead with Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, Italian (13) Fabio Fognini, Latvian Ernests Gulbis and Spaniard Feliciano Lopez vying for the third round. Then (6) del Potro or Canadian (11) Milos Raonic could be Murray's quarter-final obstacle.
Tyrone's 2013 Men's Rogers Cup First-Round Stunner: There are quite a few first-round fights that tickle me with anticipation of what could be. Two of my favorites are Spaniard (12) Nicolas Almagro's and Frenchman (14) Gilles Simon's showdowns with Czech Radek Stepanek and Russian Nikolay Davydenko.
Simon leads 5-2 with Davydenko only faltering in two three-frame affairs during 2007 Hamburg and 2011 Valencia. Three of Gilles' victories came in three sets so another slugfest between two men riding three-match slides has me wondering what's next. An upset however I like even more is Stepanek over Almagro.
Radek leads Nicolas 3-1 including a 2012 Davis Cup triumph 6-4 7-6(0) 3-6 6-3 indoors. The Czech also beat the Spaniard in 2010 Paris indoors 7-6(3) 6-4, but did fall during four frames at the 2012 U.S. Open. Stepanek dropped the opening set in 2005 Rome before vanquishing Almagro which he'll have an easier time doing this week.