Team Canada’s Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil can now start looking ahead to Rio 2016.
The tennis doubles duo, who will be partners at this year’s Olympic Games, had their Rogers Cup run end on semifinal Saturday in Toronto, falling 6-4, 6-7 (5), 1-0 to Great Britain’s Jamie Murray and Brazil’s Bruno Soares. The third set was a first-to-10 tiebreaker which the Canadians dropped 10-7.
“Today these guys were just a little bit more solid,” said Nestor. “They made a few more balls at the key moments. I started the match pretty slow. Then, you know, we got back into it. They put a lot of first serves in in the third-set tiebreaker and played solid doubles.”
The duo of Murray and Soares entered the tournament as the second seeded doubles team while Nestor and Pospisil were sixth. The Canadians were using the tournament – the last before the Olympic Games – to prepare for Rio.
“We feel fine,” said Nestor. “I mean, we played some good matches. You know, we didn’t play our best but we played well. I don’t think we had any doubts about anything, which is good. I think it’s just a matter of executing.”
The duo defeated the Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek in the quarterfinals and Australia’s Nick Kyrgios and American Jack Sock in the prior round. While Nestor and Pospisil haven’t been partnering together recently, they have teamed up in the past – including at London 2012.
“Obviously we know each other pretty well, so it’s easy to start and come back and play together,” said Pospisil after Friday’s match. “I think the good thing about playing together this week, and the fact we have won a few matches, it gives us a little bit of confidence and momentum.
“I think that’s something we can kind of ride going into Rio, because usually when we play we just play one event, one match sometimes.”
The two plan to leave for Rio on Monday with the Olympic tennis tournament set to begin on August 6. Pospisil will play in his second Olympic Games while Nestor will be taking part in an impressive sixth.
“It definitely doesn’t feel like just another tournament,” said the 43-year-old Nestor. “It’s maybe not as exciting for the athlete that’s going for the first or second time. It’s exciting for me because I think we have a chance to win a medal, so for that reason I will be very focused and we’ll do everything possible to play our best in the tournament.”
Nestor teamed up with Seabstien Lareau at Sydney 2000 to win doubles gold – which was Canada’s first and only Olympic tennis medal.