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Canadians dealt favourable first-round opponents as US Open draw set

Aug 24, 2018
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

The singles draws are set for the 2018 US Open and it will feature at least three Canadians, as Milos Raonic (Thornhill, ON), Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver, BC) and Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON) are all set to compete in the final Grand Slam of the year.

In the opening round, Milos Raonic, the tournament’s 25th seed, will take on American rising star Jared Donaldson. The big-serving Canadian has had some good results this year, including a quarter-final appearance at Wimbledon as well as the finals in Stuttgart. Despite going on deep runs at the other three Grand Slam events, Raonic has never gotten past the fourth round at the US Open. Standing in his way is the young Donaldson, who has earned notable victories over the likes of David Goffin, Lucas Pouille, Roberto Bautista Agut. Raonic and Donaldson have met twice previously, with the Canadian winning the first match at the 2016 Rogers Cup in Toronto and Donaldson benefitting from a walkover in the third round in Miami last year. Other notable names in Raonic’s quarter of the draw include Gilles Simon, Grigor Dimitrov (no. 8) and Juan Martin del Potro (no. 3).

Fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil will not have an easy path at this year’s US Open, as he has been drawn in Rafael Nadal’s section of the draw, with a possible encounter with the World No. 1 in the second round. First, Pospisil will have to get by a tricky opponent in Lukas Lacko of Slovakia. Despite his modest ranking of no. 33, Lacko has had some notable victories in his career against John Isner, Milos Raonic and former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt. Pospisil, currently ranked no. 88, will be competing at the US Open for an eight time, with his best performances coming in 2011 and 2016 when he reached the second round. The Canadian has two Challenger titles to his name this year as well as a third round appearance at the Miami Open.

Young gun Denis Shapovalov will be seeded at a Grand Slam event for the second time in his career. The no. 28 will take on a qualifier in the opening round, with other potential match-ups against Sam Querrey in the second round, Kevin Anderson (no. 5) in the third round, Dominic Thiem (no. 9) in the fourth round and Rafael Nadal (no. 1) in the quarter-finals. The 19-year-old will be looking to improve on his second round appearances in the first three majors of the year. Recently, he reached the third round of the ATP Masters 1000 events in Cincinnati and Toronto. At last year’s US Open, Shapovalov made himself a household name by going on a run to the fourth round after having to qualify for the main draw.