Top seed Carlos Alcaraz could face Holger Rune in the quarterfinals of the Canadian Open, an ATP 1000 Masters event, as per the draw of the tournament schedule to be played from August 7-13 in Toronto.
World No. 1 Alcaraz had defeated Dane Rune in the quarterfinals before his thrilling five-set victory over Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final last month. Since then, the 20-year-old Spaniard has featured only at the Hopman Cup.
Alcaraz has been awarded a bye in Toronto and begins the preparation for his US Open title defense in the second round where he could face rising American Ben Shelton. He could then be up against 15th-seeded Pole Hubert Hurkacz in the round of 16 before a potential last-eight clash with Rune, the fifth seed.
Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, seeded fourth, is in Alcaraz’s half of the draw and the two could face each other in the semifinals. Seventh-seeded Italian Jannik Sinner is also in the Spaniard’s half but Sinner could first have a tough match against compatriot Matteo Berrettini in the second round.
World No. 2 Djokovic withdrew from the tournament due to fatigue. He will, however, play both singles and doubles at Cincinnati Masters before his return to US Open after two years. The 36-year-old Serbian had missed last year’s edition since he could not enter the US which required the international travellers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, the US government ended the vaccine mandate on May 11, clearing the way for Djokovic’s entry.
Defending champion Pablo Carreno Busta, Australian Nick Kyrgios and Canadian Denis Shapovalov also pulled out due to injuries.
Like Alcaraz, Tsitsipas, Rune and Sinner in the top half, Daniil Medvedev, Casper Ruud, Andrey Rublev and Taylor Fritz - second, third, sixth and eighth seeds respectively in the bottom half, have also received byes in the opening round.
Former World No. 1 Medvedev could face his first real challenge against Lorenzo Musetti, the 16th-seeded Italian, in the round of 16 before a possible quarterfinal against Fritz.
Ruud could be up against Czech Republic’s Jiri Lehecka in the second round before possibly facing 13th-seeded German Alexander Zverev in the round of 16 in a rematch of this year’s French Open semifinal.
Here are some of the first-round matches to watch out:-
-  Hubert Hurkacz (POL) vs Alexander Bublik (KAZ)
- Christopher Eubanks (USA) vs Gael Monfils (FRA)
-  Borna Coric (CRO) vs Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)
- Andy Murray (GBR) vs Lorenzo Sonego (ITA)
-  Frances Tiafoe (USA) vs[WC] Milos Raonic (CAN)
-  Cameron Norrie (GBR) vs Alex de Minaur (AUS)
-  Alexander Zverev (GER) vs Tallon Griekspoor (NED)
- IPL auction: Five World Cup stars who could get an Indian Premier League contract on December 19
- Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023-24: Maharashtra aims to secure spot in knockouts after last season final loss
- Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023-24: Full schedule, teams, squads, date, venues
- Indian team leaves for FIH Women’s Junior World Cup 2023
- NBA In-Season roundup: Cavs recovers, tops 76ers in OT