Rogers Cup opens the series of big tournaments on the US Open Series. It is the first of two masters, which are followed by the fourth Grand Slam of the year, the US Open itself.

Both competitions are going to be super-exciting. There are many potential winners here, from the ones who are favorites up to dark horses.

The gents’ competition will be without Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, finalists from the latest Wimbledon Grand Slam. For some, it is a huge disappointment, because they aren’t going to have a chance and see two of the all-time greatest. But that opens up another perspective. There will be room for young lions to step up and explore their strength, which just might make this tournament enjoyable. The likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev who already triumphed here in 2018, Karen Khachanov, are coming here to use the absence of two maestros.

The only guy from the Big Three who will be here is Rafael Nadal, the reigning champion of this tournament. Although many say that playing on a hard court is his biggest weakness, that is something which doesn’t apply to this tournament. The Spaniard had 4 titles at Rogers Cup, and knows what to do in order to win.

Also, nobody should forget the hard US server, John Isner, whose powerful first serve can make a huge advantage on this surface. Plus, we always know that players from the United States play their best matches during the US Open series.

The bad boy of the tennis world, Nik Kyrgios is always unpleasant. His outbursts have to stop at one point, and all that energy will eventually provide something positive.

But when looking at the overall situation, it seems that Nadal has the biggest chances to defend his trophy, The only thing which might be against him is the fatigue, as he had quite a run at the Wimbledon. Meanwhile, all other players, especially the three youngsters mentioned first suffered eliminations in the opening rounds of the most prestigious Grand Slam.

Unlike the men’s the ladies’ part of the competition will have all the relevant players. The Wimbledon winner Simona Halep is coming, Serena Williams, Ashleigh Barty, the WTA no.1, also. It will be fun to watch them compete.

Halep is also the reigning champion of the tournament, as she defeated Sloan Stephens in the finals last year with 2-1. The Romanian won Rogers Cup twice in the previous three years and is currently feeling superb after snatching the Wimbledon title.

Barty fought her way up to the fourth round in London, which is her best result there. In general, she has been playing very good this year. Winning the French Open is proof of that. She needs to justify the No.1 place in the rankings, and winning the tournament here would be a perfect way to do it. The Aussie player lost in the semis against Halep last year, and that should be another motive for the 23-year old.

Serena Williams comes to Canada in search of comfort for losing her third straight Grand Slam finals. The American player is on a cold streak which isn’t seen before in her career, and eventually, that will stop. In order to do so, she has to boost her morale a little bit, and the best way to do so is to win this tournament. She has three titles here, but the last one was all the way back in 2013.

From this point of view, our pick is Serena. She is probably eager to come out and play some tennis. First of all, she did play well in London and a bad day in the finals can’t be reflected upon her entire form. Second, the crowd loves her here, and she is much closer to home. The American players are feeling at home at the Rogers Cup.

The tournament starts on Saturday, August 3, and finishes next Sunday.

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