Time marches on but memories remain. That’s likely what Daniil Medvedev, first seed at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Toronto, will tell you. He vividly remembers his final against Rafael Nadal at IGA Stadium in 2019 and especially the 3-6, 0-6 outcome.
“It was special,” he said in his pre-tournament videoconference earlier today. “I was coming from Washington and was pretty wiped out. I didn’t really know what to expect. I just wanted to play some good tennis.”
Since then, Medvedev has won three Masters 1000 titles and did well enough in the Slams to rise to World No.2. This week, he may very well add the Canadian crown to his trophy case.
“I want to win. I know I can beat a lot of guys on the hard courts and win big tournaments.”
How about one final flattering quote from Daniil Medvedev? “I love playing in Canada.”
5 in MTL, 5 in TO
That’s the number of members of the WTA and ATP Top 10s in Canada this week. Fair and square.
Tsitsipas stays humble
“Every morning, I wake up with the motivation to be better at tennis and as a human being,” said Stefanos Tsitsipas.
When the ATP rankings came out on Monday morning, he had every reason to be happy. The Greek titan had moved up to World No.3, ahead of Nadal.
“Getting into the Top 10 was an important achievement, but being in the Top 3 shows what I’ve accomplished through hard work,” he added.
Final appearance for Federer?
With Roger Federer skipping the National Bank Open in Toronto this year, should we presume he’s played his last match in Canada? Or maybe ever, since he’s also bowed out of Cincinnati? Will it be Grand Slams or retirement for the 40-year-old?
According to a TennisActu, fans are divided 50/50 about his departure from tennis.
One champ to another
Diehard Real Madrid fan Rafa Nadal had a few words to say about Lionel Messi’s exit from Barcelona: “As a football fan, losing a star like Leo and not seeing him every week in the League is sad news for those of us who love this sport and are Spanish.”
Denis the menace
The National Bank Open isn’t Wimbledon, but Denis Shapovalov has returned home in high spirits after playing some great tennis on grass.
“I’m super motivated. My confidence is fantastic. I brought my game up a notch,” said the World No.10. “I feel like a player who’s sure of himself and can take on anyone. I also think I’ve become a threat to my opponents.”
Tennis Canada’s health measures are robust, to say the least.
Just ask No.62 Lorenzo Musetti of Italy, who got himself removed from the draw for leaving the bubble.
That means Félix Auger-Aliassime (9) goes straight to the second round to face the winner of the match that pits No.48 Dusan Lajovic against Finnish qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori. (I hope the chair umpire doesn’t have to pronounce that name for three sets!)
World No.12 Casper Ruud (and former champion in Repentigny) and No.3 Stefanos Tsitsipas are in the same section of the draw.
As luck would have it, the draw in Toronto was kinder to our Canadians than it was in Montréal.
The second round is WAY too early for a potential clash between Bianca Andreescu and Leylah Annie Fernandez!
On the men’s side, Félix and Shapo are at opposite ends and won’t come to blows before the ultimate showdown.
Barring any surprises, the quarters could feature Daniil Medvedev (1) vs. Hubert Hurkacz (7) and Andrey Rublev (4) vs. Denis Shapovalov (5) at the top of the draw.
On the other side: Rafael Nadal (2) vs. Diego Schwartzman (8) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (3) vs. Casper Ruud (6).