Rafael Nadal now knows who the first barrier will be for him in terms of getting to the World No. 1 ranking in Montreal. On Tuesday afternoon Borna Coric defeated Mikhail Youzhny in their first-round match at the 2017 Rogers Cup. As a result the 20-year old advances to the second round where he will play against Nadal. The line score in the match was 6-2, 6-4 as Youzhny, a lucky loser in the draw, is now out in the first round.

Tough times for Youzhny

With the loss to Coric, Youzhny's record on the season worsened to 8-17. The former US Open semifinalist and Russian national, who was in the 2017 Rogers Cup as a lucky loser, turned 35 years old just over a month ago. He is certainly going through a tough patch of what has to be called late-career tournaments. He has not survived the second round of any main draw this season except for when you go all the way back to his 2017 debut in Chennai.

Losing in Montreal's first round marks the 4th straight tournament where he has failed to get over the first hurdle. He is clinging to a top-100 ranking at this point, but will soon be facing qualifying matches for even some of the more outer tournaments on tour.

Nadal versus Coric preview

Coric has actually enjoyed a little bit of success against Rafa. The two players have met three times with the Croat taking two of those three matches.

Nadal and Coric last met in the 2016 season, a match that was played in Cincinnati. Coric took that contest in straight sets 6-1, 6-3. It was very much the match that started to highlight the fact that Rafael Nadal was in fact injured at this time last season. He would play in few events after losing to Coric, shutting down his season after the 2017 Shanghai Masters.

The two players also met on tour in 2015 at the US Open.

Nadal was victorious in that contest, defeating Coric in four sets. Previously they met in 2014 with Coric defeating Nadal 6-2, 7-6 in a match that was played in Basel, Switzerland late in that season. At that point in his career, Nadal was again facing injury problems and he shut down his season after Basel.

Coric is certainly no pushover, but he has only defeated Nadal when the Spaniard has been bothered by something.

There is no report of Nadal carrying any kind of injury into Montreal this season. That makes the losing 1-2 record against Coric perhaps lacking in insight when it comes to previewing their upcoming match in Montreal. The two players will face one another in a match that will have to be on Wednesday's order of play. The Spaniard should be well rested heading into the match, but it will also mark his transition from grass to cement in the 2017 season.

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