Rogers Cup 2012: Novak Djokovic Heavy Favorite Entering Tournament

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Rogers Cup 2012: Novak Djokovic Heavy Favorite Entering Tournament
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The first round of the Rogers Cup 2012 is set to get underway on Tuesday, and Novak Djokovic enters as the tournament favorite.

RogersCup.com lists Djokovic as the No. 1 seed in the tournament, so he will get a bye in the first round. 

Djokovic, the former top-ranked player in the world, will look to rebound after failing to win Olympic gold. After being knocked out in the Olympics, he will be ready to go in Toronto after getting an extra day of rest.

The 25-year-old star will be the favorite to be the last one standing, so it will be a surprise if he exits early.

He has already caught a few breaks before the tournament started and he will also rely on his past success to make a run in this tournament.

 

The Field

Djokovic, the No. 2-ranked player in the world (according to the ATP rankings), will not have to face his top rivals.

Switzerland's Roger Federer and Spain's Rafael Nadal will both miss this tournament. Federer is the current top-ranked player in the world, so Djokovic catches a break by not having him in the field.

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Andy Murray will be Djokovic's toughest competitior.

In Djokovic's last four Grand Slam finals appearances, his opponent has been Nadal. Although Djokovic has won three of the four meetings, Nadal won the last meeting at the 2012 French Open.

Without those two players, who is Djokovic's top challenger?

Based on history, Andy Murray will be Djokovic's toughest competition in the 2012 Rogers Cup.

The Seattle Times gave a brief recap of last Friday's Olympic semifinal match between Murray and Djokovic. Murray came away with the win, so he has some momentum at the moment.

Another reason Murray will be a tough out in Toronto is because of his recent success in this tournament.

Although he was knocked out in his first match of the tournament last year, he has enjoyed a couple deep runs in the Rogers Cup. 

In 2009 and 2010, Murray won the Rogers Cup. His success in the tournament makes him one of the favorites to challenge Djokovic for the 2012 Rogers Cup title.

 

Recent Success

Djokovic has played well in this tournament the past few years and he is doing well in 2012 in other tournaments.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

He came away with a victory in the finals of the Rogers Cup in 2007, which marked the first time he won the event. He lost in his next three appearances in the tournament, but he finally came back to win the Rogers Cup in 2011.

His two titles in the past five years tie him with Andy Murray for the most during that time span, according to RogersCup.com.

In 2012, Djokovic has done well in Grand Slam tournaments. The Rogers Cup is not a Grand Slam, but his success in the big tournaments will make him the favorite in this field.

Djokovic won the 2012 Australian Open, and he lost in the finals of this year's French Open. At Wimbledon this year, Djokovic lost in the semifinals. His deep runs in the tournament give him confidence to continue to play for titles.

He also won three Grand Slams in 2011, so he is playing as well as anyone in the past two years.

 

Outcome

With a weakened field, Djokovic will not have a problem reaching the finals of the Rogers Cup 2012.

The first-round bye gives Djokovic an extra day to rest and prepare, so he will be ready to go when he takes the court in Toronto for the first time.

Djokovic's hot streak will continue and he will walk away from the Rogers Cup 2012 as a champion.

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