It wasn't a good day to be a reigning Wimbledon champion in Canada.
No. 2 Andy Murray played a surprisingly flat match against Ernests Gulbis, losing 6-4, 6-3 in the third round of the Rogers Cup in Montreal. The loss ended Murray's 13-match winning streak dating to the Aegon Championships in June. Gulbis, who came into the match 0-5 against Murray, played a tactically smart and emotionally even match to notch his first top-five win since 2010, when he beat Roger Federer at the Italian Open. He's into the quarterfinals of an ATP Masters 1000 event for the first time in three years, where he'll play either Juan Martin del Potro or Milos Raonic.
The win has been a long time coming for Gulbis, who started the year ranked No. 138 and had a fantastic spring to build his ranking back up to No. 38.
“I'm feeling better. I'm feeling fitter, faster, more confident with my strokes,” Gulbis said after the match. “I just tried not to show any weakness, even in the second set when I got broken back. I was 3-1 up, then he played a really unbelievable point to break me. If I would go crazy, as I like to do, then it would be tough second set.”
As for Murray, the loss extends a disappointing recent streak at the Rogers Cup. Since winning the event in 2010, he has yet to progress past the third round. Murray, who is in the quarterfinals in doubles with Colin Fleming, will play the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati next week.
While Murray tumbled out of Montreal, his Wimbledon counterpart, Marion Bartoli, retired in Toronto while trailing Magadalena Rybarikova 7-6, 1-0 due an abdominal injury, which puts her U.S. Open preparation in doubt. Matt Cronin reports that she plans to get the injury scanned:
https://twitter.com/TennisReporters/status/365590227609325569 Despite Gulbis' win over Murray, the upset of the day belonged to 23-year-old Canadian wild card Vasek Pospisil, who stunned fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (5) to advance to his first career ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal. Fresh off a win at an ATP Challenger in Vancouver last weekend, Pospisil, ranked No. 71, has had a career week in Montreal. He began by beating John Isner, 5-7, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) in the first round and followed that up with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Berdych's Davis Cup teammate Radek Stepanek. With a rowdy and roaring crowd cheering his every move on Thursday, Pospisil fired 20 aces to score his first top-10 win. He'll face former No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko next.