Montreal R2 previews and picks: Nadal vs. Stakhovsky, Cilic vs. Tomic

The Grandstand with some thoughts on upcoming matches

The Grandstand

Rafa 2Rafael Nadal and Marin Cilic will contest their first matches of the week on Wednesday in Montreal. They are set for respective meetings with Sergiy Stakhovsky and Bernard Tomic.

(7) Rafael Nadal vs. Sergiy Stakhovsky

Like many others at the Rogers Cup, Nadal is playing his first hard-court tournament since the Miami Masters. The ninth-ranked Spaniard went back to clay after an early exit at Wimbledon to Dustin Brown and the move paid off in the form of a title in Hamburg. Nadal lost his opening set of that tournament to Fernando Verdasco (with whom he won a first-round doubles match on Monday) before winning 10 in a row. Still, the 14-time Grand Slam champion is a relatively mediocre 39-12 on the season–including 8-4 on hard courts.

Standing in Nadal’s way of the last 32 in Montreal on Wednesday is Stakhovsky, who got steamrolled in their only previous encounter 6-0…

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