What to watch, Canada: Svitolina-Wozniacki, Federer-Zverev

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Roger Federer goes for his sixth title of the season in the Rogers Cup final. (Getty Images)

Throughout the Rogers Cup tournaments in Montreal (ATP) and Toronto (WTA), we'll preview the upcoming days' must-see matches.


Elina Svitolina [5] vs. Caroline Wozniacki [6]

Here she is again. Wozniacki will play her sixth final of 2017 in Toronto; can she finally win one? With a 46-15 record and a No. 6 ranking, she has been perhaps the steadiest player on the women’s tour this year, but she has yet to take home a title. Has it turned into a phobia? She lost her last one, in Bastad earlier this month, to 40th-ranked Katerina Siniakova in straight sets.

Wozniacki also lost a final this year, in Dubai, to Svitolina, who, with a 43-9 record, has also been among the tour’s most consistent performers, and is ranked a very quiet No. 5. But while Wozniacki has lost all five of her finals, Svitolina has won all four of hers.

With that in mind, Svitolina should be favored to do it again. The question may be how well she recovers, mentally and physically, from a banner day on Saturday, where she knocked off two of the WTA’s best players—Garbiñe Muguruza in the morning, Simona Halep in the evening. Can Svitolina keep that momentum going, or is a fall to earth inevitable? Wozniacki will be happy to pose that question, over and over and over, on Sunday.

Winner: Svitolina

*****

Roger Federer vs. Alexander Zverev

This was the final that many of us, myself included, predicted for Montreal. What we didn’t predict was how it would happen. Despite losing only one set, Federer hasn’t been sharp this week; and while Zverev has continued the North American roll he started last week in Washington, D.C., he had to survive a 46-shot rally on match against Richard Gasquet in his opening match to do it.

But the 36-year-old and the 20-year-old both made it, and now fans will be treated to a high-level clash of the generations. It’s also a logical one. Federer has won five titles in 2017, including two majors; Zverev has won four titles, including the only Masters 1000, in Rome, not claimed by either Federer or Rafael Nadal. Zverev and Federer have faced off three times, with Federer winning twice; their last meeting, in the Halle final in June, was a one-sided 6-1, 6-3 win for the Swiss.

Which way will this one go? Federer hasn’t exactly been in form, and a loss for him in the lead-up to the US Open wouldn’t be a surprise; he lost matches leading up to the Australian Open and Wimbledon as well. But while Zverev eliminated the hottest player of the week, Denis Shapovalov, in the semis, he struggled mightily down the stretch to do it. Let’s hope Federer and Zverev were saving their best for each other.

Winner: Federer 


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