By Max Gao
A day before the kickoff of main-draw action at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers, Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas sat down virtually with the media to talk about their chances going into the first Masters 1000 event of the summer.
Following a quarter-final defeat at the Olympics, World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev decided to spend almost a week in Orlando to prepare himself for the North American hardcourt swing. After flying in on Friday evening, Medvedev said that he is feeling “really good” in his return to Canada.
“[It] was a pretty special feeling,” Medvedev said of his run to the final in 2019. “It was in Montreal, so everybody was speaking French, and I could speak French. And they didn’t know, so I could interact with the public. It was funny and good memories … I like the balls, I like the conditions, so just hoping to show some good tennis here.”
After suffering a rare defeat this year at Roland Garros, 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal said that he went 20 days without touching a racquet due to a foot injury. The Spanish superstar spent some time at home and gradually returned to practice before making his return to competition last week in Washington.
“I am going day by day. It’s true that sometimes my foot is bothering me more than what I would like,” Nadal said. “I really need to have a couple of weeks with less pain, to have the confidence again on my movement … that I will be able to go out and to compete for a long time with a good chance. That’s something that I’m looking for in this tournament.”
Three years after bursting onto the international scene with an inspired run to the final in Toronto, Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is looking forward to playing in front of the same fans this week, will surpass Nadal and become the new World No. 3 on Monday.
“I wake up every single day with a goal to get better with my tennis,” Tsitsipas said. “I’m very happy that I get to play that sport; I’m very happy that I get to inspire people, doing what I do. Being the ranking I will be tomorrow is a huge motivation and a great indication that I’ve done great so far. I’ve put in so much hard work to make it to the top 3, which is quite a special milestone.”