Preview & Schedule: Zverev Looks For More Montreal Magic
Alexander Zverev scored his first hard-court ATP Masters 1000 title two years ago at the Coupe Rogers. He looks to produce more great memories in Montreal during a packed third-round schedule on Thursday that also includes Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem.
The third-seeded German takes on No. 13 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia for a place in the quarter-finals. They’re tied 1-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry, but Basilashvili saved two match points to oust Zverev two weeks ago in the semi-finals of the Hamburg European Open before clinching the title (d. Rublev). The Georgian is enjoying a career-best season that has seen him reach a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 16 in May.
Zverev has been finding consistency after a difficult start to the season. He took the title in Geneva (d. Jarry) and advanced to at least the quarter-finals in four of his past six events. The German is in tenth place in the ATP Race to London and a big week in Montreal could move him into qualifying contention for the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals.
Top seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal aims to continue his success in Canada when he meets Argentine Guido Pella. The Spaniard leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 3-0, including a victory this April in the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. Nadal seeks his fifth title in Canada as he pursues a successful hard-court title defence for the first time in his career. Pella has produced a career-best season that saw him clinch his maiden ATP Tour crown this March in Sao Paulo (d. Garin) and crack the Top 30 of the ATP Rankings for the first time.
“I am just going step by step,” said Nadal. “[I’m] back on court again tomorrow against a player who is playing great. He's having the best year of his career. He's super dangerous, winning great matches. I need to be ready for tomorrow."
Second-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem puts his five-match winning streak on the line against No. 14 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia. Thiem won their lone FedEx ATP Head2Head three years ago in Brisbane. He’s coming off a title run last week on home soil in Kitzbuehel (d. Ramos-Vinolas) and scored his first-ever win in Canada this week against Denis Shapovalov. Cilic has had a difficult season by his lofty standards, but is always a threat on hard courts.
Other notable matches on Thursday include eighth-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev taking on Chilean Cristian Garin and No. 16 seed Gael Monfils taking on rising Pole Hubert Hurkacz, who upset fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime will celebrate his 19th birthday with a match against sixth seed Karen Khachanov on Court Central.
ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, 8 August 2019
Court Central start 12:00 noon
 Marin Cilic vs  Dominic Thiem
NB 2:00 pm
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs  Karen Khachanov
NB 6:30 pm
 Rafael Nadal vs Guido Pella
 Gael Monfils vs Hubert Hurkacz
Banque Nationale start 1:00 pm
 Daniil Medvedev vs Cristian Garin
 Alexander Zverev vs  Nikoloz Basilashvili
NB 6:30 pm
Adrian Mannarino vs  Fabio Fognini
 Roberto Bautista Agut vs Richard Gasquet
Click here to view the schedule for all other courts.