Roger Federer may be resting, but most everyone else will be trying to get some valuable ranking points and momentum for the US Open at this week's Montreal Masters. Below are some thoughts as the top players return to action at the biggest tournament since
Djokovic will be looking to send a message: Just like in 2014 Novak Djokovic enters
as the Wimbledon champion, but he'll be looking to avoid a repeat of
the slip up he suffered last year in Canada
and Cincinnati. It's impossible to tell what effect if any
his early losses last year had on his US Open semifinals defeat, but it may have
given the rest of the field the belief that he was beatable. Djokovic will be looking to remind the field that he's simply a level above everyone else, and he'll have his guard up after
what happened last year. His 2015 has
been nearly flawless, and barring another in the zone performance by Wawrinka it's hard to see anyone stopping him in Montreal.
Will any Americans make some noise? John Isner has been the leading American man so far this summer, but it's not likely he'll have much left in
Montreal after deep runs in Atlanta and Isner's draw isn't bad if he's able to give
it a go, but three weeks in a row is probably too much for the big man. Jack Sock has had a somewhat disappointing
summer, and has a chance to win a few matches before facing Djokovic in
the Round of 16. Donald Young already
has beaten Denis Kudla, but has to face Tomas Berdych in his next
match. Sam Querrey also already won his first
round match, and could play Steve Johnson next if Johnson is able to upset David
Goffin. Johnson had a nice run in Washington
and could put a scare into the world number 14.
The best bet to make the quarters is probably Johnson or Querrey, on the
hope that Nishikori is a bit worn down from winning the title in D.C. last
week. Washington D.C.
Can Thiem carry his momentum to
North America? One of the most exciting players of the
summer has been 21 year old Dominic Thiem, who won two 250s on the European
clay and made the semis of another. He's up to 18 in the world, and is at 14 in
the points race. He's clearly supremely
talented, but the next question is whether he's ready to become a contender at
the big events. Montreal is as good of a place to start as
any, and a quarterfinal matchup against Djokovic would be a great test to see
where he stands against the world's best.
If Djokovic slips up, who will be ready to take advantage? Djokovic is certainly the favorite, but if he doesn't come to
Montreal ready to play
there are a handful of others who could be ready to step up. Murray is the
second seed, but lost early in He should be more prepared for Washington
D.C. Montreal, and will be
looking for momentum to jump start his summer.
Wawrinka and Raonic haven't played since Wimbledon
and could be dealing with rust, but are always some of the most dangerous
players on tour. Nadal will be hoping
his good form in Hamburg
carries over to hard courts, but he's still a bit of a question mark. If Nishikori has enough left after a tiring
week in Washington he'll be a threat as well. But if
Djokovic does somehow fall early like last year, Murray
is clearly the next best bet to win the title in Montreal.