Canadian duo upsets Nadal, Djokovic
Canada's Polansky upsets No. 13 seed in singles draw
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have been knocked out of doubles contention by a pair of young, wildcard Canadians.
Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., and Vasek Pospisil of Vancouver upset the world's No. 1- and 2-ranked players on Monday night at the Rogers Cup, 5-7, 6-3, 10-8 for the biggest win of their young careers.
The crowd in Toronto erupted as soon as the Canadians clinched the match on centre court just after 11:30 p.m. ET.
Raonic, 19, and Popisil, 20, have earned a second round match against fifth-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria and Philipp Petzschner of Germany.
But they weren't the only Canadians knocking off giants on opening day. Earlier Monday, another hometown wildcard took out the No. 13 seed in the singles draw.
Peter Polansky of Thornhill, Ont., ranked No. 200, upset Jurgen Melzer 7-6, 6-4, chalking up the biggest upset of his career to earn a trip to the second round.
"What I'm most proud of tonight is how I stayed focused in front of a big crowd at home," Polansky said. "I just played my game throughout the match without too many nerves."
Watch live coverage of the Rogers Cup on CBC.
The main network will televise both of the semifinals on Saturday, Aug. 14, (3 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET) and the final on Sunday, Aug. 15, (1:30 p.m. ET)
All three matches will also be streamed live on CBCSports.ca.
It's the first time a Canadian man has beaten a top-15 player at a home tournament in seven years, since No. 314-ranked Simon Larose upset Gustavo Kuerten.
Polansky, 22, missed seven break points to close out the opening set, but came up big in the tie-breaker, edging his Austrian opponent 8-6 on centre court to the delight of the crowd.
The Canadian carried the momentum into the second set, opening with a service break and holding serve the rest of the way to take the match in one hour 47 minutes. The first set alone lasted 62 minutes.
"It means a lot, especially for confidence," Polansky said. "It's a huge confidence boost. Not only can I be close to these guys in practice, but in a match, I'm there with them, too. Mentally, I'm right there."
Melzer, who is ranked No. 15 in the world and made it to the French Open semifinal earlier this year, threw his racket at the back wall in frustration during the second set.
This is the second first-round win at the Rogers Cup for Polansky. He won his opening match at last year's tournament in Montreal, but lost to Serbia's Novak Djokovic.
Polansky will meet Romanian veteran Victor Hanescu in the second round.
Earlier Monday, Hanescu eliminated Raonic from the singles competition, winning 6-4, 6-4.
Raonic admitted he had his work cut out against Hanescu, No. 54 in the ATP rankings.
"I knew I needed to play my best to come out successful today," said Raonic, ranked No. 214. "I did play well. I felt I just came up a bit short."
Hanescu recorded four aces and won 75 per cent of his service points against Raonic in the 69-minute match.
Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ont., and Pierre Ludovic-Duclos of Sainte-Foy, Que., are the other Canadians competing in singles action in Toronto.
Dancevic and Adil Shamasdin of Pickering, Ont., were eliminated from the doubles competition Monday night, falling 7-5, 7-6 (3) to Simon Aspelin of Sweden and Australia's Paul Hanley.
The Rogers Cup, being staged at the Rexall Centre on the York University grounds, has a deep field, with eight of the top 10-ranked singles players competing at the $2.43-million event.
In other first-round results from Monday:
- Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina defeated Colombia's Alejandro Falla 6-0, 6-3.
- Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet 7-5, 6-1.
- Julien Benneteau of France defeated Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-4, 6-4.
- Spain's Tommy Robredo defeated Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-1, 6-4.
- South African Kevin Anderson beat Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 7-6 (2), 6-4.
- Russian Mikhail Youzhny defeated Gilles Simon of France 6-4, 6-4.
- Thiemo de Bakker of the Netherlands defeated Spain's Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (2), 6-3.
- Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany and Gael Monfils of France beat Britain's Ross Hutchins and Andy Murray 6-3, 6-2.
- Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra of France defeated Jarkko Nieminen of Finland and Sweden's Robin Soderling 6-3, 7-5.
With files from The Canadian Press