It has been a rough day for Canada’s Vasek Pospisil.
A semi-finalist at last year’s Rogers Cup in Montreal, Pospisil experienced a surge in the rankings and popularity following the event, and it seemed as if Canada had not one, but two stars to throw their support behind.
Then it all went terribly wrong.
Pospisil began his 2014 season with a semi-final showing in Chennai, where he retired at 5-5 in the second set against Stan Wawrinka. The Canadian had been showing signs of a back injury all week and it had finally caught up with him.
Determined to fight through the injury though, Pospisil arrived in Melbourne for the first Grand Slam tournament of the season. Many didn’t expect much, but he showed promising signs and worked his way to the third round of the draw.
He would withdraw the following morning.
After six weeks on the sidelines, Pospisil returned to the tour, which sparked an eight-match losing streak that would stretch past the French Open. Paolo Lorenzi would be the recipient of Pospisil’s first vanquishment in four months, losing to the Canadian in three sets at Queen’s Club.
Pospisil went 8-6 over the following two months and finally looked to heading in the right direction in Washington, where engraved his name in tennis history as one half of the first all-Canadian ATP World Tour Final in the Open Era.
Then he arrived in Toronto.
There was clear excitement in the air. Fans chattered about the fighting chance their beloved Canadian contingency has in the draw. Raonic and Pospisil – how can things possibly go wrong?
It certainly did. The domino effect began with Brayden Schnur, passed Frank Dancevic and ended with Pospisil.
The Vancouver-native appeared hampered from the get-go. Errors flew off his racquet and his movement was sluggish at best. A right leg injury was to blame.
“You need to be at 100% at this level when you’re playing against Richard (Gasquet),” said Vasek. “I wasn’t feeling 100 percent today.”
He was certainly right about that. The 23-year-old would lose the match 7-5, 7-5 in a match that was a shade of their weekend thriller in Washington.
The injury is a “mix” according to Pospisil. He will require an MRI on his abductor injury but also mentioned an issue with his hamstring.
All he can do now is hope for the best.
“It is just a minor thing. I just want to be ready for Cincinnati now.”