By Jake Davies
- Three to See for the opening day of Canada Masters
- Denis Shapovalov vs Nick Kyrgios
- Viktor Troicki vs Kevin Anderson
- Steven Diez vs Kyle Edmund
TORONTO, CANADA – The Rogers Cup begins and Britain’s sole representative Kyle Edmund is the highlight of our pick of the day.
Denis Shapovalov [WC] vs Nick Kyrgios  – H2H: First meeting
Not many people would have recognised Denis Shapovalov in the build up to his first round meeting at the Canada Masters against Nick Kyrgios, but Shapovalov has been on a great journey in the past few months.
Just last month, the 17-year-old Canadian claimed his first major triumph at grand slam level, where he won the 2016 Wimbledon Boys title, beating Alex De Minaur in that final. The telling illustration of that match was how Shapovalov handled the occasion. The strong feeling was that Shapovalov is ready-made for the big stage, which is exactly what many have said about his opponent in the first round of the Canada Masters – Kyrgios.
Kyrgios was also a very successful junior in his own right, winning the 2013 Australian Open Boys title, and now three years on, he is inside the Top 20 of the men’s game. Kyrgios is one of the rare success stories for the young generation looking to make a name for themselves at the beginning of their blossoming careers.
Shapovalov will be looking to the likes of Kyrgios as an example of a promising junior making a positive transition in such a short space of time. The 2016 Wimbledon juniors champion has a very explosive, streaky style of play, which is tailor-made for the faster courts on tour – and further reflects why he did so well on the slick grass courts of Wimbledon.
He applies a left-handed forehand with an unorthodox left-handed, one-handed backhand, which is extremely scarce in today’s game.
From the beginning of this match, it will be compelling to see who dominates the baseline rallies, as both players are relentless ball-strikers, that penetrate through the court. Kyrgios will acknowledge how dangerous his opponent can be, especially when considering how great an opportunity this is for the young Canadian Wild Card to leave his mark on his first Canada Masters tournament.
Viktor Troicki vs Kevin Anderson H2H: 1-1
Another appealing first round match in the Canada Masters sees two former Top 15 players collide – Viktor Troicki and Kevin Anderson. Both players are in search of a positive tournament that can be the catalyst to prolonged success in their respective careers.
Anderson briefly achieved a career high of No.10 in the world last year, but an accumulation of injuries have adversely affected his tennis in 2016. Now ranked just outside the Top 30, Anderson will have his sights set on returning to those great heights following ankle surgery earlier this year.
Anderson won the most recent meeting with Troicki in Acapulco last year, but Troicki also has a victory over the big-serving South African in Washington in 2011.
Steven Diez [WC] vs Kyle Edmund
Edmund is the sole British representative in the Canada Masters main draw as he prepares for his first match following the memorable Davis Cup victory in Belgrade last week. His opponent, like Edmund, enjoys the clay courts and spent large portions of his early years playing in the Spanish heat, before choosing to represent the country of his birth, Canada.
The more experience that Edmund gathers ultimately brings more pressure as many more opponents will acknowledge the strengths and limitations of the British player, as he improves on the ATP tour. This particular match is intriguing as it reflects an uncommon occurrence where Edmund is the heavy favourite – something he will have to grow familiar with in his development.
Play begins at the Rogers Cup at 11am (4pm BST).
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