Three-time Rogers Cup champion Novak Djokovic is set to begin his US Open Series on Wednesday evening in Toronto, as the Serb will go up against a well-acquainted opponent in Gael Monfils. This marks the tenth time they will meet on the professional tour, with the Djokovic vs Monfils Head to Head standing at 9-0.
Although the top seed was on court on Monday night playing doubles with Stan Wawrinka – which they won in straight sets – the Serb will begin singles competition two days later after receiving a bye into the second round of the tournament. Djokovic won his seventh major title last month at Wimbledon, beating Federer in five sets, after which he reclaimed the world No. 1 ranking from Nadal.
Considering the defending champion is out of the tournament with a right wrist injury, this is a extraordinary opportunity for Djokovic to increase the gap between himself and Nadal. The Spaniard has a loft 4000 points to defend, 2000 of which he has already surrendered by withdrawing from Toronto and Cincinnati. If all goes well for Djokovic, he could be in a very comfortable top spot come September.
Djokovic may haven gotten a bye into the second round of the tournament, but his opponent Gael Monfils has to work for his straight sets win over Czech No. 2 Radek Stepanek. The Frenchman stormed to a 3-0 leas before ending the first set 6-3 and then followed up by winning six consecutive games come back from 1-5 down and steal the set.
Djokovic holds an impressive undefeated record against Monfils on the ATP World Tour and will be looking to maintain that record in his first match in Toronto. This should be a fairly straightforward contest but not without its entertaining moments.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Straight Sets