WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The biggest news at a soggy Winston-Salem Open on Monday wasnt made by who advanced. It was who pulled out. Two-time defending champion John Isner and top seed Tomas Berdych withdrew from the tournament. After the days early matches were delayed 4 hours, 10 minutes due to rain, James Blake beat fellow American Rhyne Williams 6-1, 7-5, in a first-round match. But the days big story was the withdrawals of the two players who met in last years final: Isner pulled out with a hip injury, and Berdych withdrew with right shoulder pain. Isner beat Berdych in last years championship match. Both players said they wanted to be healthy for the U.S. Open, which begins next week. That leaves the tournament without its two highest-ranked players, and perhaps its biggest draws. Isner, a Greensboro native, considers this his hometown tournament and called it "one of my favourite tournaments of the year." He won this event in each of its first two years of existence. He withdrew one day after falling to Rafael Nadal in the Western & Southern Open final in Cincinnati. Injuries kept him from playing two other majors -- the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Berdych moved up one spot to fifth in the ATP rankings released Monday. Isner jumped eight spots to No. 14. The highest-ranked player remaining in the field is fourth-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain at No. 22. Also in the first round, qualifier Steve Johnson beat fellow American Bobby Reynolds 6-1, 6-2, and German David Goffin advanced when American Jack Sock withdrew in the third set with Goffin leading 4-6, 6-3, 1-0. Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain defeated Danish qualifier Frederik Nielsen 6-1, 6-3. Qualifier Thiemo de Bakker beat Igor Sijsling 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a matchup of players from the Netherlands; and Nicolas Mahut of France topped Polands Lukasz Kubot 6-3, 6-1. Three seeded players had second-round matches later Monday night with the rest playing Tuesday. Byron Buxton Jersey . JOHNS, N. 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Media stand in one spot and hold their position tighter than moms in line for that Black Friday special at Target. One by one the Brazilian players came out, many with enormous headphones on, looking down to the ground and heading straight for the bus entrance. The star of the team was undoubtedly Neymar and his presence was felt even before he appeared, with screaming and awkward shuffling starting around me. The new king of Brazilian football is a show man, he smiled for the ladies, said a few words for the men holding microphones and ran to his seat on the bus. Right behind him stood a large man whose presence was just as big for the Brazilian travelling media. Julio Cesar was smiling ear-to-ear. He had just completed another successful match, in a 2-1 win over Chile, for his country and the joy of playing again couldnt be hidden. The aggressive Brazilian media wanted a part of him and he was happy to oblige. More than any player he took the time to answer questions, hug media friends and talk his way through his evening. For the 34-year-old there was some joy in talking about the game. That Tuesday night he would board a bus, take a charter flight back to London and head to training for Queens Park Rangers by Thursday, knowing full well he wouldnt be playing for the Championship club on Saturday. The Brazilian number one, in a World Cup year, was stuck on the bench at a non-Premier League team and didnt know when he would play again. It is a unique story and one that got even more mysterious when the transfer window closed in England last Friday and the goalkeeper remained a QPR player. QPR manager Harry Redknapp had made no secret at why the Brazilian wasnt playing. Stuck in the second tier of English football with many players on Premier League size contracts, the London club had a situation where they had two good net minders. Julio Cesars competition was Rob Green, who just happens to be playing one of the best seasons of his career and is more affordable long-term. Knowing he couldnt play him, and just importantly not afford him going forward, Redknapp wanted Julio Cesar to leave back in November saying: "We wouldnt stand in Julios way and we arent asking a fee for him. He needs to play and he could play anywhere for any team. Hes just been unlucky. Robs been fantastic and I cant take him out of the team. "However, Julios a great guy and he needs to play soon, so he can play in the World Cup." Still the Brazilian waited. And waited. January came and with it came the obligatory Redknapp in a car interview on transfer deadline day. "Hes a fantastic goalkeeper and thats not just a sale pitch to try and move him on," Redknapp told Sky Sports News. "Hes not only a great keeper but also an amazing professional and a great guy. But I think hes a goalkeeper for any big club in the world. He has got every medal there is to win, the Champions League, the lot." "I cant believe one of the big clubs havent come in and taken him to be honest," declared Redknapp. None of the big clubs came knocking. This was not an indictment on Julio Cesar. His wages? Quite possibly. His talent? Absolutely not. Julio Cesar became the victim of circumstance. Signing a goalkeeper in January is extremely rare. As he can only play one position out of 11 you have to be convinced that the goalkeeper you started the season with is worth disrupting and you have to convinced that the money being spent on the wages is worth it. Goalkeepers are a not always easy analyse, in terms of their significant impact on wins and losses, and, perhaps, more than ever are looked at in terms of actual value. Are they worth what they are being paid or can someone on far less money do a similar job? Pepe Reina was idolized at Anfield but the moment his wages got close to one hundred thousand pounds per week, when they could get Simon Mignolet for almost half that they felt that was excellent business. Mignolet has been excellent at times, and has made some blunders at times as well, very similar to Reina. Liverpool, meanwhile, used the money saved in that position to strengthen elsewhere. Julio Cesar remained a QPR player on FFebruary 1st.dddddddddddd And still he trained and trained again. His agents continued to work on deals with Brazilian clubs, trying to secure a six month loan to help him get ready for a World Cup on home soil. However, in Brazil the same issues as Europe came up. Big clubs had established goalkeepers like Jefferson, Victor and Fabio. The other clubs are slashing costs and now is not the optimum time to buy, with many of the most important games in their season coming post World Cup. Five months and counting. On Julio Cesars calendar inside his London home the harsh reality stares right at him. He knows what Luiz Felipe Scolari thinks of him and owes him to be at his best. Former Brazilian coach Mano Menezes had pushed him aside, yet when the 2002 World Cup winning coach returned, so did a real, surprise chance for Julio Cesar to put aside the blunder he made against the Dutch in the 2010 World Cup Quarter Finals. Brazilian fans hadnt let him forget that, yet all of a sudden he was in pole position to be the starting goalkeeper in a home World Cup. "I was as surprised as you," a happy Julio Cesar said back in September when he got an international recall. "Now I need to keep working hard and maintain my form over the next eight months." Tick, tick, tick, tick... And now it is five months. Ryan Nelsen started 16 games with Julio Cesar at QPR last season in the Premier League. The first ten came under Mark Hughes and they didnt win a game. Yet, the very first match, Julio Cesars Premier League debut, saw them draw 0-0 against Chelsea and the pair were outstanding against the Blues that day. Under Harry Redknapp, results remained similar but when Julio Cesar returned from injury, he was in the starting XI, with Nelsen, to play at Chelsea in January of 2013. QPR achieved a shock 1-0 win and the pair had once again helped keep a clean sheet against a formidable Chelsea attack. Its a bond that appears to have helped hand Toronto FC, previously the laughing stock of Major League Soccer, an opportunity to get the Brazilian number one before he plays at the World Cup. No financial details have been reported and we will have to wait and see how TFC can pull this off under the cap but to have an opportunity to get Julio Cesar for around ten games before he joins the Brazilian team is an incredible opportunity. Julio Cesar is a winner and can help play a significant role in changing the culture of that dressing room, a mandate that GM Tim Bezbatchenko has spoken about often this winter. He can help Gilberto, the clubs new Brazilian striker, settle in and can make a huge impact on the clubs goalkeeper Joe Bendik. The 24-year-old American is highly thought of by Toronto FC, having recently been rewarded with a new contract, and this signing is in no way a slight against him. What an opportunity he has to work for three months with one of the best goalkeepers of this era, to watch and learn how he prepares and goes about his business. When Julio Cesar departs for the Brazil camp in the middle May, Bendik will be the clubs number one again and will be better for having the Brazilian next to him. And so it appears there are many winners in all of this but, incredibly, the biggest winner of all is Julio Cesar. The odds are 3-1 for him to be one of 23 Brazilians lifting the World Cup in Rio on July 12. Less than two months before that it now appears he will be playing at BMO Field in Toronto. It is another remarkable chapter in the offseason of this football club. It shows just how far they have come that when the news broke on Friday morning it was now believable. It appeared to be a deal this team would do. Who thought they could sign a proven Premier League goalscorer at aged 31 or bring back from Europe the heartbeat of the US team at age 26? "Well be doing alright if we get World Cup stars, wont we?" Ryan Nelsen told me last October when I asked if his DPs would have to take time away from the MLS season to play in Brazil. Alright is likely to be a massive understatement. TFC have yet to kick a ball in 2014 but the knock-on effect is in full effect. The signing of Jermain Defoe got Michael Bradleys attention and both of them got Julio Cesars attention. 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