Raonic, Pospisil advance
MONTREAL—On a night when Andy Murray stumbled and two-time defending champ Novak Djokovic survived a scare, Canadians Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic rose to the fore at the Rogers Cup.
Pospisil was overcome with emotion after he came out on top of a tight match against fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych to win 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (5) before a roaring crowd of supporters yesterday at the $3.49-million (U.S.) hard-court tournament.
The wins over players ranked in the world’s top-10 put two Canadians in the quarter-finals of Canada’s biggest tournament for the first time since Andrew Sznajder and Grant Connell made it in 1989.
If one wins, he will be the first Canadian in the semi-finals since Mike Belkin way back in 1969.
The last Canadian to win the tournament, then called the Canadian Open, was Robert Bedard in 1958.
But if both win, they will face each other in the semi-finals tomorrow.
“It’s great,” said Raonic. “I’m happy to have gone through.
“I was able to watch a lot of Vasek’s match,” he noted. “He seemed to be playing confident and well.
“It was big he battled out the ending of that match, added Raonic. “It’s good for him.”
While Canadians revelled in the home-court support, it was a tough day for top players other than fourth-seeded Rafael Nadal, who downed Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 6-4.
He next plays qualifier Marinko Matosevic, who outlasted Benoit Paire 7-6 (7), 6-7 (10), 6-3.
Murray was knocked out of his first tournament since his stirring Wimbledon title with a 6-4, 6-3 loss to unheralded Ernests Gulbis, who will play Raonic in the quarter-finals today.
Djokovic, meanwhile, needed to work hard for his 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, which stretched his Rogers Cup winning streak to 12.
The Serb has a quarter-final meeting with Richard Gasquet, who ousted ninth-seeded Kei Nishikori 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Pospisil will play Nikolay Davidenko, who beat fellow Russian Alex Bogomolov 6-4, 6-3.