Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Halep and Djokovic enjoy Canadian success

In Toronto, Novak Djokovic won Masters title number 30, his fourth this year, two in finals over Kei Nishikori.  Both will enter the Olympic Games confident of success, but expectation of the colour of the medal should realistically be restricted to silver or bronze for Nishikori and anyone else bar the relentless Serb.

The Rogers Cup final between the pair was played out to the usual script, the only variation the scoreline which was 6-3 7-5.  The inability to manufacture a serve to trouble Djokovic for any sustained period had Nishikori on the back foot from the outset, while the top seed was comfortable and reliable from the service line.

Novak has certainly performed to much higher standards than that exhibited in the past week, which only augurs well for a top podium in Rio.

Simona Halep is also searching for gold in Brazil following a brilliant win in the Montreal WTA version of the Rogers Cup.  The straight sets disposal of Madison Keys capped off a series of impressive wins, and earned a jump in the rankings from five to three.  Although disappointed with the 6-7 3-6 defeat, Keys enjoyed a great tournament, rewarded with a return to the top ten, now at 9, her equal career high.

The possibilities of medals in Rio are real for both finalists, but much will depend on the draw.

The Olympics includes a tennis element, but does not stop the ATP and WTA tours.  Atlanta is hosting an ATP event this week, with John Isner and Nick Kyrgios the top draw cards.
WTA players are gathering in Florianopolis, Brazil.  Jelena Jankovic and Irina-Camelia Begu are the top two seeds.
Nanchang, China is where the other WTA tournament is scheduled for the first week of August, but it has only attracted one woman in the top 100, Kurumi Nara at 91. 

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