Canada’s Milos Raonic downs Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-4 to advance at Rogers Cup

MONTREAL — Milos Raonic is off to the second round of the Rogers Cup.

The hard-serving Canadian defeated Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-4 in first-round action Monday on the centre court of Montreal’s IGA Stadium.

Raonic, who has struggled with various injuries this season, dispatched his opponent in one hour 12 minutes.

Ranked 20th on the ATP Tour, Raonic broke Pouille in the third game of the first set and held serve from there — thanks in large part to 10 aces.

The 28-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., then broke Pouille again in the fifth game of the second set before closing things out in tidy fashion on home soil, finishing with 16 aces.

Raonic lost the 2013 Rogers Cup final against Rafael Nadal at the same venue.

He also fell to the 29th-ranked Pouille in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open back in January, but improved to 4-1 all-time against the Frenchman with Monday’s win.

Raonic was originally supposed to open against Taylor Fritz of the United States, but was bumped to the other side of the bracket when South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, the ninth seed, pulled out of the US$5.7-million ATP Tour Masters 1000 series event.

Raonic will now face either Montreal native and rising teenage star Felix Auger-Aliassime (ranked 22nd) or Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil, who play on Tuesday.

Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., was scheduled to take on 38th-ranked Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France later Monday.

The 20-year-old Shapovalov, who sits 31st in the world, captivated tennis fans in Montreal two years ago when he upset Nadal in a memorable third-round match.

A four-time Rogers Cup champion following his victory in Toronto last year, Nadal is the tour’s No. 2-ranked player and the clear favourite with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer skipping this year’s event.

Auger-Aliassime and Pospisil took on the French duo of Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin in doubles Monday afternoon.

The 207th-ranked Pospisil reached the semifinals in Montreal in 2013, defeating No. 6 Tomas Berdych before falling to Raonic.

This year, however, Pospisil is a wild-card entry attempting a comeback after spending eight months recovering from a serious back problem.

In the rest of Monday’s action involving Canadians, wild-card entry Brayden Schnur of Pickering, Ont., took on qualifier Tommy Paul of the U.S., while Thornhill’s Peter Polansky — another wild-card addition — met France’s Gael Monfils.

Schnur is ranked 98th in the world, while Polansky sits 172nd.

The women’s side Rogers Cup bracket is being played in Toronto. The tournament alternates between the cities every year.

Just Posted

Expert panel to review supervised consumption sites in Alberta including Red Deer

Eight experts will hear from Albertans on the social and economic impacts… Continue reading

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

OTTAWA — A pre-election chill has descended over some environment charities after… Continue reading

Scheer repeats call on RCMP to investigate Trudeau’s actions in SNC affair

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says the federal ethics commissioner’s stinging… Continue reading

Vikings Days a celebration of Danish immigration, culture

The Danish Canadian Museum near Dickson held its annual Viking Days celebration… Continue reading

WATCH: ‘Lots to see and do’ at Pioneer Days in Red Deer

Sunnybrook Farm Museum is celebrating its 24th annual Pioneer Days this weekend.… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Thursday The Red Deer and District Garden Club hosts its annual Flower… Continue reading

34% of economists in survey expect a US recession in 2021

WASHINGTON — A number of U.S. business economists appear sufficiently concerned about… Continue reading

Ontario cannabis retailer returns $2.9M in CannTrust products to company

VAUGHAN, Ont. — CannTrust Holdings Inc. says the Ontario government’s cannabis retailer… Continue reading

Pipeline rupture sends 40,000 litres of oil into Alberta creek

DRAYTON VALLEY, Alta. — The Alberta Energy Regulator says a pipeline has… Continue reading

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has condemned violence in Hong… Continue reading

Turtles, butterflies and foxes: Captive breeding for endangered species growing

LANGLEY, B.C. — The turtle in my hand dangles its churning feet… Continue reading

Saskatoon Cubs win Westerns with wild extra-innings comeback

The Saskatoon Cubs showed no quit in the finals of the 18UAAA… Continue reading

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

OTTAWA — The United Kingdom is shirking its share of the international… Continue reading

Most Read