international tennis

There’s more at stake for Rafael Nadal than being the world No 1 at the Rogers Cup

The 15-time Grand Slam champion is the top-seed at the Rogers Cup in Montreal in this week.

Rafael Nadal says he’ll focus on the foes in front of him at the ATP Montreal Masters this week, and not on his chance to return to No 1 in the world.

A semi-final run in Montreal would see the Spaniard supplant Britain’s Andy Murray atop the rankings

“I don’t even think about that now,” Nadal said of being the world No 1. “I’m trying to have the right preparation now and that’s it.

“I’m going to keep trying to play the way I did in the first part of the season, so if I’m able to make that happen, I hope to have a chance to do well.”

The top-seed is expected to open his campaign for a fourth Canadian title on Wednesday with a second-round meeting against either Croatian Borna Coric or Russian lucky loser Mikhail Youzhny.

Nadal could also be on track for a third round showdown against 2009 tournament runner-up, Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro who beat hard-serving American John Isner in straight sets 7-5, 7-5 in a night match on Monday.

Murray is among the notable absentees from this key US Open tuneup. Novak Djokovic is taking off the rest of the season to rehab an elbow injury and US Open champion Stan Wawrinka has ended his 2017 campaign with a knee problem.

Murray is trying to recover from a nagging hip injury in time for the final Grand Slam of the season that starts later this month in Flushing Meadows.

Nadal claimed his 10th French Open title this year but bowed out in the fourth round at Wimbledon – his fifth exit before the quarter-finals in his last five appearances at the All England Club.

Roger Federer, who seized his 19th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, is also slated to open on Wednesday.

Isner’s streak snapped

Del Potro had to overcome 24 aces by 14th seeded Isner as he seeks to return to the final for the first time since losing to Murray in 2009.

Del Potro hammered nine aces, had three double faults and won 85 percent of his first serves in the one-hour-49-minute match.

Del Potro closed out the victory on his second match point by hitting a forehand winner down the line. He broke Isner at 5-5 in the second set then jumped out to a 40-0 lead in the final game.

Isner won consecutive titles in Newport and Atlanta in July before withdrawing from last week’s tournament in Washington with a knee injury. He also pulled out of the Madrid tournament with knee trouble.

Del Potro next faces either Rogerio Dutra Silva or 18-year-old Canadian wild card Denis Shapovalov.

In early matches on Monday, Australia’s Nick Kyrgios romped past Serbian Viktor Troicki 6-1, 6-2 and France’s Gael Monfils shook off a slow start to beat American Steve Johnson 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-1.

France’s Benoit Paire also advanced, downing American Donald Young 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, but rising French star Lucas Pouille fell 7-6(5), 7-6(8) to American Jared Donaldson.

Monfils was broken twice in a sluggish first set, but gradually found his range, firing 11 aces and saving the only other two break points he faced in the one-hour, 38-minute victory.

“At 4-3 in the second set I started putting the ball in the court. I was able to move better,” said Monfils who had his knees taped during the second set. “I was able to make it more difficult for him. From then on, I was able to get some more opportunities and I was able to make him have some doubts.”

French veteran Richard Gasquet survived an early scare from Canada’s Brayden Schnur but held on for a 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-1 win in their opening round match.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

The perpetual millennial quest for self-expression just got another boost

Making adulting in the new millennium easier, one step at a time.

Having come of age in the Age of the Internet, millennials had a rocky start to self-expression. Indeed, the internet allowed us to personalise things in unprecedented fashion and we really rose to the occasion. The learning curve to a straightforward firstname.surname@___mail.com email address was a long one, routed through cringeworthy e-mail ids like coolgal1234@hotmail.com. You know you had one - making a personalised e-mail id was a rite of passage for millennials after all.

Declaring yourself to be cool, a star, a princess or a hunk boy was a given (for how else would the world know?!). Those with eclectic tastes (read: juvenile groupies) would flaunt their artistic preferences with an elitist flair. You could take for granted that bitbybeatlemania@hotmail.com and hpfan@yahoo.com would listen to Bollywood music or read Archie comics only in private. The emo kids, meanwhile, had to learn the hard way that employers probably don’t trust candidates with e-mail ids such as depressingdystopian@gmail.com.

Created using Imgflip
Created using Imgflip

And with chat rooms, early millennials had found a way to communicate, with...interesting results. The oldest crop of millennials (30+ year olds) learnt to deal with the realities of adolescent life hunched behind anonymous accounts, spewing their teenage hormone-laden angst, passion and idealism to other anonymous accounts. Skater_chick could hide her ineptitude for skating behind a convincing username and a skateboard-peddling red-haired avatar, and you could declare your fantasies of world domination, armed with the assurance that no one would take you seriously.

With the rise of blogging, millennial individualism found a way to express itself to millions of people across the world. The verbosity of ‘intellectual’ millennials even shone through in their blog URLs and names. GirlWhoTravels could now opine on her adventures on the road to those who actually cared about such things. The blogger behind scentofpetunia.blogspot.com could choose to totally ignore petunias and no one would question why. It’s a tradition still being staunchly upheld on Tumblr. You’re not really a Tumblr(er?) if you haven’t been inspired to test your creative limits while crafting your blog URL. Fantasy literature and anime fandoms to pop-culture fanatics and pizza lovers- it’s where people of all leanings go to let their alter ego thrive.

Created using Imgflip
Created using Imgflip

Then of course social media became the new front of self-expression on the Internet. Back when social media was too much of a millennial thing for anyone to meddle with, avatars and usernames were a window into your personality and fantasies. Suddenly, it was cool to post emo quotes of Meredith Grey on Facebook and update the world on the picturesque breakfast you had (or not). Twitter upped the pressure by limiting expression to 140 characters (now 280-have you heard?) and the brevity translated to the Twitter handles as well. The trend of sarcasm-and-wit-laden handles is still alive well and has only gotten more sophisticated with time. The blogging platform Medium makes the best of Twitter intellect in longform. It’s here that even businesses have cool account names!

Self-expression on the Internet and the millennials’ love for the personalised and customised has indeed seen an interesting trajectory. Most millennial adolescents of yore though are now grownups, navigating an adulting crisis of mammoth proportions. How to wake up in time for classes, how to keep the boss happy, how to keep from going broke every month, how to deal with the new F-word – Finances! Don’t judge, finances can be stressful at the beginning of a career. Forget investments, loans and debts, even matters of simple money transactions are riddled with scary terms like beneficiaries, NEFT, IMPS, RTGS and more. Then there’s the quadruple checking to make sure you input the correct card, IFSC or account number. If this wasn’t stressful enough, there’s the long wait while the cheque is cleared or the fund transfer is credited. Doesn’t it make you wish there was a simpler way to deal with it all? If life could just be like…

Created using Imgflip
Created using Imgflip

Lo and behold, millennial prayers have been heard! Airtel Payments Bank, India’s first, has now integrated UPI on its digital platform, making banking over the phone easier than ever. Airtel Payments Bank UPI, or Unified Payment Interface, allows you to transfer funds and shop and pay bills instantly to anyone any time without the hassles of inputting any bank details – all through a unique Virtual Payment Address. In true millennial fashion, you can even create your own personalised UPI ID or Virtual Payment Address (VPA) with your name or number- like rhea@airtel or 9990011122@airtel. It’s the smartest, easiest and coolest way to pay, frankly, because you’re going to be the first person to actually make instant, costless payments, rather than claiming to do that and making people wait for hours.

To make life even simpler, with the My Airtel app, you can make digital payments both online and offline (using the Scan and Pay feature that uses a UPI QR code). Imagine, no more running to the ATM at the last minute when you accidentally opt for COD or don’t have exact change to pay for a cab or coffee! Opening an account takes less than three minutes and remembering your VPA requires you to literally remember your own name. Get started with a more customised banking experience here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Airtel Payments Bank and not by the Scroll editorial team.