There’s some kind of déjà vu feeling in the air as I remember writing an article recapping Andy Murray’s embarrassing opening round exit in Montreal to Kevin Anderson of South Africa. That story doesn’t even compare to Rafael Nadal losing 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(5) in his opening round match to Ivan Dodig of Croatia at the 2011 Rogers Cup in Montreal. Ivan who you ask? Yes, my point exactly. We’ve come to the point in tennis to just expect the top tier players to just breeze through every and any opening round match in any tournament they’re in. You wouldn’t bet one dollar on Nadal losing his first match because you know it would be a silly waste of a dollar. Of course, he’ll win because he never loses his opening round match in any tournament. After traveling back in time through Rafa’s career, I came across the last time he actually lost in his opening match without retiring. It was in 2006 at the Masters 1000 Series tournament in Miami, when Nadal fell to fellow Spaniard and one of his mentors Carlos Moya, 2-6, 6-1, 6-1. Since then, Nadal has not faltered, proving his dominance in the early rounds of any tournament.
If you don’t know who Ivan Dodig is, that’s okay because most people don’t know who he is either. Ivan Dodig is a big-serving Croatian who can hurt you off the ground with powerful groundstrokes if he’s on his game. Just when I reported yesterday after Murray’s loss paving the way for players like Mardy Fish, Radek Stepanek and Stanislas Wawrinka to get to the semifinals where they’ll most like be met by Rafael Nadal, of course Nadal goes out and loses the next day. On Nadal’s side of the draw, expect Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic or Janko Tipseravic of Serbia to advance to the semifinals now.
Had Rafael Nadal not stolen the headlines with this jaw-dropping defeat, I would have let you know that Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Gael Monfils all moved on with ease amongst others. Federer was able to come through against Canadian youngster Vasek Pospisil, 7-5, 6-3. Now Federer goes one-on-one with France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a rematch of their epic Wimbledon quarterfinal. It was Tsonga who became the first player to ever come back down two sets to none against Federer in a Grand Slam to win. Federer had been 178-0 in Grand Slams when leading two sets to none before Tsonga snapped that streak.
Novak Djokovic quietly moved into the third round with a 7-5 6-1 win over Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko. France’s Gael Monfils was able to knock off American Alex Bogomolov Jr., 6-2, 7-6(5). American Mardy Fish was able to get his revenge from the Davis Cup when he beat Spain’s Feliciano Lopez, 6-2, 6-3. The only other notable upset besides Nadal was Marin Cilic of Croatia beating Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 6-3, 6-4.
2011 Rogers Cup Match Results
► Novak Djokovic (SER) defeated Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) 7-5, 6-1
►Ivan Dodig (CRO) defeated  Rafael Nadal (ESP) 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(5)
► Roger Federer (SUI) defeated Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 7-5, 6-3
► Gael Monfils (FRA] defeated Alex Bogomolov Jr. (USA) 6-2, 7-6(5)
► Mardy Fish (USA) defeated Feliciano Lopex (ESP) 6-2, 6-3
► Tomas Berdych (CZE) defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
► Nicolas Almagro (ESP) defeated Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 6-2, 7-6(5)
► Richard Gasquet (FRA) defeated Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) 6-1, 6-4
► Viktor Troicki (SER) defeated John Isner (USA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
► Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) defeated Bernard Tomic (AUS) 6-3, 7-6(1)
► Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) defeated Michael Russell (USA) 6-3, 6-2
►Janko Tipseravic (SER) defeated  Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3
►Marin Cilic (CRO) defeated  Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) 6-3, 6-4
►Ivo Karlovic (CRO) defeated Philipp Petzschner (GER) 6-7(0), 7-6(2), 7-6(6)
►Ernests Gulbis (LAT) defeated Michael Llodra (FRA) 6-4, 1-0 ret.