August 05, 2014 - 3:13 PM
TORONTO - Good times in Canadian tennis were rolling, right up until play started at the Rogers Cup on Tuesday.
One by one, three of the five Canadian men in the field bowed out of the tournament, as Vasek Pospisil lost to Richard Gasquet, Frank Dancevic fell to Donald Young and Brayden Schnur was defeated by Andreas Seppi.
Pospisil, who reached the final of the Citi Open on Sunday before losing to fellow Canadian Milos Raonic, fell 7-5, 7-5 to Gasquet in a rematch from last week. The Vancouver native battled back from a second-set deficit but had his serve broken to lose on centre court.
After getting attended to on the side throughout the match, Pospisil appeared to be hampered by a right leg injury.
The loss drops Pospisil out of the top 40 of the ATP rankings. He had been 27th.
On the grandstand, the wheels fell off in the second set for Dancevic in a 5-7, 6-0, 6-3 defeat to American Donald Young. Dancevic said Young did a good job of adapting to his game.
"He just started reading my serve in the second and third set," Dancevic said. "I couldn't get any more free points on my serve, my serve percentage dropped down a little bit and he just started playing better and better as the match went on. ... I felt like it was difficult to find answers for him."
Similarly, Schnur had no answers for Seppi, losing 6-3, 6-3 in his ATP World Tour debut.
"He was just a little bit better at everything, really, than me," the 19-year-old Pickering, Ont., native said. "He kept the balls deeper at the end of the court, pushed me back, made a lot more balls that I'm not used to seeing come back, and didn't let me attack so often, that's for sure, took away my weapons."
Schnur and Seppi waited out a rain delay of more than two hours before beginning their match on the grandstand court at Rexall Centre. Schnur said that didn't help his fatigue, but he acknowledged it being part of his learning process.
"Nerves are always in my system," Schnur said. "It slowly tires you out going in and out, in and out, warming up, having to cool down. But it's something that I'm learning to get used to."
Schnur got used to being the fan favourite during his qualifying matches over the weekend. Fans encouraged him with shouts of, "Come on, Brayden," against Seppi, but the home-country advantage wasn't enough against the Italian veteran.
"Obviously at important moments, he missed a few important shots," said Seppi, who advances to face Ivan Dodig, who upset 10th-seeded John Isner. "I knew (Schnur) could serve pretty well, and I think he didn't have so good percentage on the first serve, otherwise it would be for sure tougher. I think he can for sure play pretty well, especially on the hard courts. It was his first match, so I think he handled it really well."
Schnur plans to play a futures event in Calgary next week before returning to school at the University of North Carolina. He considered these few days in Toronto a benefit for his career.
"It's good to see what I can improve on," Schnur said. "I gained a lot of confidence in my game. I think I played a lot better, even though I lost."
The rain delay that stretched from the morning into the afternoon caused some schedule shifting, including Jack Sock and Jurgen Melzer being moved to an additional court. Once on it, Sock beat Melzer 6-1, 6-3 to set up another rematch against Raonic.
Raonic beat Sock, a Nebraska native, in straight sets at Wimbledon and then again last week at the Citi Open in Washington.
"I'm definitely excited for tomorrow," Sock said of facing Raonic. "The juices will be flowing. He got me in my home country last week, so I'm going to try to maybe get some revenge."
In other early play, fast-rising star Nick Kyrgios beat Santiago Giraldo, 7-6 (3), 7-5 to set up a match with No. 8 seed Andy Murray, No. 11 seed Ernests Gulbis beat Joao Sousa 6-3, 6-4 and Yen-Hsun Lu beat Marcel Granollers 7-6 (6), 7-5.
The main event Tuesday night features No. 2 seed Roger Federer against Canadian wild card Peter Polansky. In the late match, third-seeded Stan Wawrinka faces Benoit Paire.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2014