Tennis

Vasek Pospisil advances at Rogers Cup

Canada's Vasek Pospisil defeated Jeremy Chardy in first-round action at the Rogers Cup on Tuesday night after the Frenchman retired following a right foot injury.

Canadian doubles pair Bester, Shamasdin oust Djokovic and partner to advance to 2nd round

Canada's Vasek Pospisil moved on at the Rogers Cup after Frenchman Jeremy Chardy was forced to quit because of an injury. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Another Canadian is through to the second round of the Rogers Cup and that suits Vasek Pospisil just fine.

The Vancouver product defeated Jeremy Chardy in first-round action on Tuesday night after the Frenchman retired with a right foot injury.

With five Canadians advancing, it ties the most that have ever moved past the first round at the men's tournament. The last time it happened was 2013.

"It's good to have new faces for sure," Pospisil said. "I'm 26 already. I feel like I have been a new face but maybe not so much anymore. But it's cool to see and I'll try to catch (watch) the next one that Denis (Shapovalov) and the other Canadians play."

Chardy started to favour his foot after Pospisil went up 30-0 in the first game of the second set. Chardy called for the trainer and waited several minutes before deciding that he couldn't go on.

Will face Monfils in next round

Pospisil won the first set 7-6 (3). He'll face Gael Monfils in the second round. Monfils is coming off a victory at last week's Washington Open and is 2-0 in his career against the Canadian.

Fourth seed Milos Raonic will open his tournament against Taiwan's Yen-Hsun Lu, Steven Diez faces 12th seed Bernard Tomic, Peter Polansky goes up against Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, and the teenage Shapovalov plays Bulgaria's Girgor Dimitrov all on Wednesday.

Lu admitted he's a bit nervous about facing Raonic, a hometown hero, but he's banking on the fourth-seeded Canadian having a few butterflies too.

Lu, who advanced to the second round on Tuesday afternoon with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Alexander Zverev of Germany, will have few backers among the expected capacity crowd at the 12,500-seat Aviva Centre.

"All the spectators against you is very tough," Lu said. "But, I mean, this is what he should get because he comes from the country and he's one of the best players right now."

Raonic, who grew up the Toronto suburb of Thornhill, will be playing his first match since the Wimbledon men's final where he lost to Britain's Andy Murray.

Lu said that in order to beat Raonic, he will have to have a strong service game. But he's also hoping to exploit any nerves that Raonic may have as he returns home to a hero's welcome.

Lu hopes Raonic will be nervous

"If I can try to make more balls into the court to play, I have a little bit better chance," Lu said. "I have to focus on my service game to stay with him and to maybe give him a little bit of pressure and waiting for him maybe a little bit getting nervous from the tensions and give me a chance."

Raonic, who had a bye in the first round of the Rogers Cup, is 2-0 against the 32-year-old Lu, with his last victory coming in 2014 in Monte Carlo. Lu said he's noticed a lot of improvement in Raonic's game recently.

In men's doubles action, Vancouver's Philip Bester and Adil Shamasdin of Toronto got past world No. 1 singles player Novak Djokovic and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia 7-5, 4-6, 10-2.

Bester and Shamasdin will play South Africa's Raven Klaasen and American Rajeev Ram.

Berdych comes back from 1 set down

In other singles action, Monfils defeated Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-3, 6-3 while fifth seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic beat Croatia's Borna Coric 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in second-round play.

Despite dropping his first set, Berdych says that he wasn't concerned because it was an early break.

"I mean it was by my mistakes and then it was just basically trying to get used to the conditions because they were quite different," the world No. 8 said.

"I was just really trying to be patient with myself. Trying also to look for the opportunities. And that's what paid off."

Tournament No. 2 seed Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland held off Russian Mikhail Youzhny 7-6 (3), 7-6 (8) in Tuesday's late match.

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