Canadian tennis stars team up before facing each other at Rogers Cup
Monday is Canada Day at the Rogers Cup, with every male player from this country getting a turn on the court.
Homegrown stars Milos Raonic was scheduled for a match on Monday afternoon while Denis Shapovalov played in the evening.
Both are hoping to advance, and both have done very well at the Rogers Cup, especially Shapovalov, who defeated Rafael Nadal in 2017 in the third round.
Raonic won his match 6-4, 6-4 against France's Lucas Pouille, advancing to the second round.
Last year, in Toronto, Nadal won the tournament and he has returned this year in hopes of repeating his performance.
Meanwhile Vasek Pospisil and Felix Auger-Aliassime teamed up in their first doubles match, losing to France's duo of Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin.
Pospisil and Auger-Aliassime compete against each other on Tuesday.
"We're good friends, we get along well. But once we step on court we're going to compete at our best, like we did in Wimbledon and we'll see who the winner is. But I think we're good competitors, and we're good people, so we're able to put our friendship aside for the time of the match and just compete at our best," said Auger-Aliassime.
Budding tennis players were excited to watch the duo on Monday, and Shapovalov said he remembered what it was like to watch professionals when he was starting out.
That's why he spent part of the weekend teaching children how to play tennis.
"It's important for me to put rackets in kid's hands. It doesn't matter what age they are, where they come from, how rich, how poor they are," he said.
Tennis Canada says some proceeds from the tournament go to children's programs to offset the cost of winter training.
"I think our next step for Tennis Canada, if we really want to grow this sport in this country, ve have to make more indoor courts accessible for kids to play year-round," said tournament director Eugene Lapierre.
With reporting from Denise Roberts