Rogers Cup what to watch for: Which Nick Kyrgios will show up?

Nick Kyrgios, of Australia. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/CP)

The 2017 Rogers Cup gets underway on Monday, with a slate of matches scheduled on both the men’s and women’s sides in Montreal and Toronto respectively.

Here are some of of the most intriguing storylines to follow:

Kyrgios begins play in Montreal

Nick Kyrgios will face Viktor Troicki at Court Central in Montreal, looking to improve on last year’s first-round defeat at the hands of Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

Kyrgios looked disinterested at times during his loss to Shapovalov, double-faulting 18 times.

The Australian seemingly has all the tools to become a top-five player in the world but has yet to put it all together for any extended period of time.

This year has been a struggle in particular for the 22-year-old, with Kyrgios having retired in the first round of each of his last three tournaments, due to hip and then shoulder injuries.

He’s no stranger to drawing the ire of a paying crowd, but his affable and honest personality has won over at least some fans in Montreal.

Ostapenko continues breakout season

Jelena Ostapenko, of Latvia, will play Varvara Lepchenko (representing the United States) no earlier than 1 p.m. ET on Centre Court in Toronto.

The 12th-seeded Ostapenko lost in the first round of last year’s Rogers Cup, but has taken great steps in 2017 with a surprise French Open win followed by a quarter-final appearance at Wimbledon.

Ostapenko doesn’t waste a lot of time on the court, aggressively courting winners, and she’ll be busy on Monday; the 20-year-old is scheduled to play her first-round doubles match (alongside Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski) later in the evening.

The two will face the Japanese tandem of Eri Hozumi and Miyu Kato.

Venus, Abanda on Centre Court

Venus Williams will begin her hunt for a Rogers Cup title on Centre Court against Romanian qualifier Irina-Camelia Begu Monday night.

The elder Williams sister hasn’t played since falling to Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in the Wimbledon final.

Canada’s Francoise Abanda will face Lucie Safarova to close out play in Toronto, looking to advance to the second round of the Rogers Cup for a consecutive year.

Abanda, ranked 132nd in the world, was given a wild card into this tournament and will be in tough against Safarova, the 2015 French Open finalist.

The 20-year-old did reach the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time this year, having done so at the French Open and Wimbledon.

She very nearly took out Ostapenko in the second round at the All-England Club, before succumbing in three sets.

Pospisil, Polansky face off for second-round meeting with Federer

As least one Canadian man will advance to the second round with a win on Monday, as Vasek Pospisil and Peter Polansky go head-to-head to close out play in Montreal.

The winner gets a crack at Roger Federer in the second round, in what will be his first time playing in Montreal since 2011.

Pospisil, ranked 75th, will be favoured against the 116th-ranked Polansky, though the two have yet to play each other on the ATP Tour.

Polansky was the runner-up at three Challenger events in July, and had reached a career-high ranking of 115 as a result.

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