The National Bank Open, formerly Rogers Cup

Morning Cup Preview: No. 1 seeds highlight the National Bank Open finals in Toronto

August 14, 2021
daniil medvedev

Photo : Peter Power/Tennis Canada

By Max Gao

No. 1 seeds highlight the National Bank Open finals in Toronto

After an extraordinary week of tennis at the Aviva Centre, it all comes down to this: No. 1 seed Daniil Medvedev will square off against big-serving American Reilly Opelka in the singles final, while No. 1 seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic will face off against No. 3 seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the doubles final.

Singles: Medvedev [1] vs. Opelka

Two years after reaching the final in Montréal, where he lost to Spanish legend Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev — who came within two points of defeat in the quarter-final against No. 7 seed Hubert Hurkacz — has returned to the final of the National Bank Open with an imperious 6-2, 6-2 victory over John Isner. Medvedev will meet another big-serving American in Reilly Opelka, who has fought his way through an extremely difficult draw to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 final. With wins already over Nick Kyrgios, No. 14 seed Grigor Dimitrov, Lloyd Harris, No. 10 seed Roberto Bautista Agut and No. 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, Opelka will be looking for just his second victory in five meetings with the Russian.

Medvedev leads their head-to-head record 3-1 and won their most recent meeting at the French Open a couple of months ago in straight sets. Opelka’s lone victory came last fall in three sets at the St. Petersburg Open.

Doubles: Mektic/Pavic [1] vs. Ram/Salisbury [3]

Mektic and Pavic, the No. 1 seeds and reigning Wimbledon and Olympic champions, will look to capture their 10th title of the season — and their fourth at the Masters 1000 level — when they take on familiar foes in the third-seeded pairing of Ram and Salisbury. Mektic and Pavic have been pushed to the limit this week, winning their first two matches in three sets and their semi-final yesterday in two tiebreak sets. They will be looking for their fifth victory of the year over Ram and Salisbury, who have enjoyed a comparatively more comfortable road to Sunday’s showpiece. Meanwhile, the No. 3 seeds, who are still looking for their first title of 2021, will be looking to avenge losses to the all-Croatian pairing at Wimbledon, the Miami Open, the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and the Eastbourne International.

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