TORONTO - The last time the men were in Toronto for the Rogers Cup was in 2012 when Novak Djokovic won the title. If a repeat was in the cards for 2014, those were dashed on Wednesday as the No. 1 fell to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets 6-2, 6-2. Also, No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka fell to unseeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa.
Perhaps it was from his marathon matchup with Gael Monfils yesterday in addition to his doubles match later but the fatigue set in for Novak Djokovic early as he just didn't seem to have anything in store for Tsonga who dominated the match right from the get-go.
"Well, first of all, congratulations to Jo. He played some great tennis. Served very well. He was obviously the better player on the court," Djokovic said following his defeat. "I, on the other hand, haven't played even close to what I intended before going to the court. Just nothing was going. No baseline, no serve, no return.
"So just generally a very bad day, very poor performance. Couldn't do much."
The Serbian dismissed the fatigue factor having just played twice on Wednesday. For Djokovic, his explanation for his lacklustre effort on Thursday was simple:
"I was not feeling very comfortable on the court. I wasn't hitting the ball clean and a lot of unforced errors."
Whether that is resulted from fatigue is unknown, but according to the top seed, it wasn't.
As for Tsonga, his win on Thursday marks the Frenchman's third win over a world No. 1. He was asked what the victory means for his confidence, especially with the US Open just weeks away.
"It's good for me because I'm looking for it since couple of months now, and now I get it," said Tsonga. "It make (sic) me feel good on the way I practice and how I manage, you know, my game."
With the win, Tsonga advances to face the 8th-seeded Andy Murray who won earlier today via retirement over France's Richard Gasquet.
As for Wawrinka, he waas in tough against a relative unknown in Kevin Anderson. The South African took the 2014 Australian Open champ to the limit in the opening set, downing him 7-6 (8) before taking the second and deciding set 7-5.
Up next for Anderson is Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria who defeated Spain's Tommy Robredo earlier in the day 7-5, 5-7, 4-6.
As for what this means for the hometown crowd, Canadians are very excited to see two of the top seeds in the tournament get shown the door on Thursday as Milos Raonic may now have a better shot of claiming his first Rogers Cup title. But one step at a time. The No. 6 seed still has a tough test on Thursday evening against a surprising Julien Benneteau of France.
We'll see how it all plays out.