Kyle Edmund, of Britain, serves to Nick Kyrgios, of Australia, during the Rogers Cup men’s tennis tournament Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Kyle Edmund, of Britain, serves to Nick Kyrgios, of Australia, during the Rogers Cup men’s tennis tournament Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)|Associated Press

Rogers Cup Tennis Wednesday: Abrams picks men's matches with Nadal, Thiem, Raonic, FAA, Shapovalov, Fognini, Tsitsipas, Isner, Edmund, more

Round of 32 matches start at noon EDT.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

The Rogers Cup

Montreal, Canada

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Rafa Nadal over Dan Evans

After a wonderful first round win over Alex de Minaur, Brit Dan Evans has the unenviable task of taking on Rafa Nadal, as the Mallorcan prepares for the U.S. Open. Nadal, like everyone, needs to adjust his game to the hard courts that the North American circuit is played on but should still have no trouble rolling over Evans and moving on.

Dominic Thiem over Denis Shapovalov

This should be a real charmer, as Shapovalov brings his flashy game back home to Canada. This is actually a pretty good draw for Shapovalov, because he’s not supposed to win, as Thiem is #4 in the world. If he does, it’s a great showing in front of the home crowd, if he doesn’t, it’s not a bad loss. I like Thiem, but it should be a barn burner, and I do give Shapovalov a chance here.

Felix Auger-Aliassime over Milos Raonic

This is the ultimate test for FA2 to see where he stands in Canadian tennis. He’s surpassed Shapovalov, so these guys seem to be playing for #1. Raonic, because of his serve, is always dangerous, and when serving well can beat anyone. But the rest of FA2’s game is more solid and better. I like FA2 to surpass Raonic and take over up North.

Fabio Fognini over Tommy Paul

Tommy Paul is back. After a couple of years of injuries where he was forgotten as an American weapon, Paul is playing well enough to be solidly in the Top 100, and probably a lot higher. Fabio Fognini is always susceptible to throwing in a dud, and this just might be it. If Fognini wants to fight through this, he should prevail, but he’s due for a rest, and he might decide to take it.

Kei Nishikori over Richard Gasquet

Gasquet is yesterday’s news, although he still possesses enough talent to roll over guys who just aren’t ready for him. Nishikori will be. The Japanese star is nothing if not a fighter, and that’s what will get him over the top here.

Daniil Medvedev over Kyle Edmund

Kyle Edmund will bring in a great straight set first round win over last week’s champ in D.C., Nick Kyrgios. Edmund is also 2-0 lifetime against the Russian, Medvedev, so this match could go either way. But if Medvedev brings his serve, the 6’6” Russian should be able to ride it to victory.

Stefanos Tsitsipas over Hubert Hurkacz

After spending the last ten days in three different countries, Taylor Fritz was downright pooped and dropped a straight setter to Hubert Hurkacz. Tsitsipas should have no such trouble. He’s rested, he’s playing well, and he’s confident. I like the Greek God.

Stan Wawrinka over Karen Khachanov

Stan Wawrinka is 2-0 over Karen Khachanov, and that means everything to me. Khachanov is inconsistent enough to believe, when push comes to shove, that he can’t beat Wawrinka, and he won’t.

Marin Cilic over John Millman

Marin is very slowly getting his “A” game back, and I like him to take out the very tough Aussie, John Millman. Millman likes the heat, but he just doesn’t have the game to take Cilic at this time. Cilic’s serves and return-of-serves are too good, and the former U.S. Open champ, although not at his peak, is playing well enough to win.

John Isner over Cristian Garin

Isner’s serves should be far too tough for the clay courter, Cristian Garin. Isner has a few players who are his nemesis (Opelka, for sure), but Garin isn’t one of them. Isner will roll.

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