The National Bank Open, formerly Rogers Cup

Morning Cup Preview: 5 stories to watch on Day 2 of the National Bank Open

August 9, 2021

Photo : Peter Power/Tennis Canada

By Max Gao

Following a successful first day of main-draw action at the Aviva Centre, four of the 16 seeds in the singles draw will begin their campaigns for the prestigious National Bank Open presented by Rogers title on Tuesday.

Tsitsipas, Dimitrov Headline Night Session

Three years after defeating the likes of Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev en route to the final, Stefanos Tsitsipas returns to the Ontarian capital as the new World No. 3 and said in his pre-tournament press conference that he was excited to return to “one of my favorite places” in the world. But the Greek star will face a stern challenge in French lefty Ugo Humbert, against whom he has never won in two previous encounters (including less than two weeks ago at the Tokyo Olympics).

There’s something about playing in Toronto that seems to bring out the best in Grigor Dimitrov. The former World No. 3 and Nitto ATP Finals champion famously made the semi-finals of this event in 2014 and has since followed up that result with quarter-final runs in 2016 and 2018 — all at this venue. Dimitrov, who seems to have a particularly strong Bulgarian contingent in this city, will end the night session against either Australian wild card Nick Kyrgios or American Reilly Opelka.

Top Seed Medvedev Kicks Off Campaign

Two years after reaching the final in Montréal, World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev returns to Canada fresh off a short training block in Orlando, where he became acclimated with the heat and humidity. He will topline this year’s singles draw and begin his campaign for another Masters 1000 hardcourt title against Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik in the final match of the day session.

Photo : Peter Power/Tennis Canada

Former Finalist Nishikori Returns to Toronto

2014 U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori, who just reached the quarter-finals at his home Olympics and the semi-finals of Washington, returns to the National Bank Open feeling more confident than he has in nearly two years. The Japanese No. 1 will kick off proceedings on Stadium Court against Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic.

Olympic Silver Medallist Khachanov Plays First Round

Fresh off winning the silver medal in Tokyo, Karen Khachanov will be a dangerous, unseeded floater during this week’s singles draw. He will face a tricky opposition in Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie, with the winner set to meet No. 15 seed Aslan Karatsev.

Canadians Polansky/Schnur, Rising Stars Hurkacz/Sinner Team Up for Doubles

On the outside courts, the all-Canadian wild-card pairing of Peter Polansky and Brayden Schnur will be in action against the veteran pairing of Simone Bolelli and Maximo Gonzalez, while Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner — two of the brightest rising stars of the game — will team up for the third time this season against No. 5 seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo.

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