Frenchman Jeremy Chardy will clash with third-seeded compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round of the Rogers Cup after putting out American Donald Young 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-0 on Monday.
The first match of the post-Olympic tournament marked the 16th consecutive defeat for Young, who has not claimed a victory on the ATP since February.
Chardy needed nearly two-and-a-quarter hours to get past the No. 84 Young, who was somehow given a place on the US Olympic team only to lose his opening match against Italian Andreas Seppi.
The French winner, ranked 47th, earned his 16th win of the season. He lost his only previous meeting with Tsonga in Johannesburg in 2009.
“It will be tough to play against Jo, he’s been doing so well recently,” the challenger said. “He’s a good friend of mine. I can only go out and try to play my game.”
Chardy notched seven aces, but also six double-faults in his win over the luckless Young, who was once tipped by John McEnroe as the future of the US game. Chardy broke six times on the way into the second round.
Because of the weekend Olympic finish in London, all 16 seeds in the field have been given first-round byes. The final is also scheduled for Sunday evening so as not to clash with the Games closing ceremonies.
However, tournament officials have still been hit with pullouts, notably world No. 1 Roger Federer and the injured No. 3 Rafael Nadal. Also missing is American Andy Roddick (shoulder) and chronically injured French player Gael Monfils (knee).
Toronto tournament officials can only hope that Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray and beaten semi-finalist Novak Djokovic will honor their commitments to play.
Murray has given notice that while he would arrive in Canada yesterday, any decision to actually take to the court a day later would depend on how he feels.
“With Toronto, the plan is to go there and play,” the Scot said amid his Olympic celebrations. “I was meant to be leaving London on Monday afternoon, but due to media commitments, it looks like I’ll have to leave on Tuesday.”
The big names would cop fines if they do not play, which hardly matter in the grand scheme of preparing for the US Open starting in three weeks.
“It’s not ideal, but tennis has its rules,” said Murray, the 2009-2010 Canadian champion.
Canadian Milos Raonic earned the 16th seeding because of withdrawals, but even the local hero is not convinced that less is more this week in the field.
“I have to play against those guys and win against those [top] guys. Those opportunities are missing and especially here, where I grew up and play well, it’s a little disappointing,” he said.