TORONTO – It’s a great time to be a tennis fan.
Coming right on the heels of what is considered to be one of the greatest and the longest final match in Wimbledon history where Rafael Nadal outlasted the world’s number one player, Roger Federer, the players are expected to meet again at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
The tournament which was slated to kick off today but was slowed because of early rain features one of the best draws in recent history with most of the top contenders in the world committing to play. The top eight seeds all received a first-round bye and they are in order: Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Nikolay Davydenko, David Ferrer, Andy Roddick, James Blake, and Andy Murray.
Federer took time to answer questions from the press today where he admitted that he hadn’t seen any footage from his surreal Wimbledon defeat and that he was completely focused on his early matches in Toronto.
“It’s important for me to start off well,” he said.
Federer explained that he and Nadal were at an obvious disadvantage considering the fact the length of their last match and the earlier-than-usual start of the Rogers Cup. Combined with the impending Olympics in China and the upcoming U.S. Open, conditioning will clearly play a role in their success.
“It’s a rough time for us,” Nadal admitted. “I really hope I can win the tournament here.”
It’s possible that Federer will meet Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals.
In other tournament news, Tennis Canada and Rogers Communications Inc. announced a three-year renewal of title sponsership for the Rogers Cup in both Toronto and Montreal. While the financial details of the agreement were not released, the contract will extend through the 2011 tourney.