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The Canadian open, one of the ATP tour's "Super 9" tournaments, which weigh most heavily in the calculations of world ranking, officially starts on Monday, July 24.What's going on for the two days right before it is the qualies.
This is essentially a competition to determine who will occupy the seven slots in the Canadian Open's main draw designated or "qualifiers." A qualifying tourney precedes just about every big-money ATP event, and money and prestige and lucrative careers are often at stake in qualie matches, and often they feature the best matches of the whole tournament, and it's a good bet you've never heard of qualies.
The realities of the men's professional-tennis tour bear about as much resemblance to the lush finals you see on TV as a slaughterhouse does to a well-presented cut of restaurant sirloin.
The sixteen entrants with the highest ATP rankings get "seeded," which means their names are strategically dispersed in the draw so that, barring upsets, they won't have to meet one another until the latter rounds.
This means that there is actually room for fifty-six players in the main draw.
One reason the industry sort of hates upsets is that the ATP press liaisons have to go around teaching journalists how to spell and pronounce new names.
The Canadian qualies themselves have a draw of fifty-six world-class players; the cutoff for qualifying for the qualies is an ATP ranking of 350th .
There are very few paying customers on the grounds on Saturday, but there are close to a hundred world-class players: big spidery French guys with gelled hair, American kids with peeling noses and Pac-10 sweats, lugubrious Germans, bored-looking Italians.
There are blank-eyed Swedes and pockmarked Colombians and cyberpunkish Brits. Mexican players who spend their spare time playing two-on-two soccer in the gravel outside the players' tent.
Andres Zingman is currently ranked two places above Sander Groen.
Horst Skoff and Kris Goossens and Thomas Hogstedt are all ranked higher than Martin Zumpft.