The sixth Masters 1000 tournament of the season will kick off in Toronto on Monday, gathering a solid field of players that doesn't include Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. World no. 1 and no. 3 need more time to rest after that grueling Wimbledon campaign and historic title clash, leaving Rafael Nadal as the top seed ahead of Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Kei Nishikori and others.
Kevin Anderson and Juan Martin del Potro were forced to withdraw as well due to knee injuries and the experienced Spaniard Fernando Verdasco has joined them on the list of the missing players, skipping the Canadian Masters for the sixth time in the last eight years.
Verdasco made the Masters 1000 debut 16 years ago in Miami, never missing too many events at this level and becoming one of four players with at least 120 Masters 1000 main draw appearances, together with Roger Federer, Feliciano Lopez and David Ferrer.
At the age of 35, Fernando is still capable of embracing the full ATP calendar, already playing 19 ATP tournaments in 2019 and moving closer to the top of the list with more than 400 ATP events played since the beginning of a career.
After reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon, Verdasco went back to his beloved clay, competing in Bastad, Gstaad and Kitzbuhel and scoring just one win, losing to Lorenzo Sonego in the quarter-final in Kitzbuhel and deciding to skip Toronto and recover the energy ahead of the remaining stops of the North American swing.
Making a debut at the Canadian Masters in 2004, Verdasco has never felt comfortable at this event, scoring only ten wins from nine trips to Montreal and Toronto and playing in the third round on three occasions. After 2011, Verdasco played there only in 2015 and 2018, opting to skip it once again and get ready for Cincinnati where his results are even worse.