We’ve reached the semifinal stage at the National Bank Open in Montreal following the completion of Friday’s quarterfinals.
In the top half of the draw, the final four match that many fans were hoping for was spoiled by Hubert Hurkacz and Casper Ruud who eliminated both Félix Auger-Aliassime and Nick Kyrgios during the day session. Hurkacz needed three sets to knock out the in-form Aussie in three sets while Ruud overwhelmed the young Montrealer who couldn’t help but be disappointed by his lacklustre performance in front of yet another sold out crowd who were fully behind their local hero.
The night session quarter-final matches were both entertaining affairs between somewhat lesser-known players, much to the delight of the fans in attendance. In the first encounter, Brit Daniel Evans came from behind to defeat American Tommy Paul and Pablo Carreno Busta completed the semifinal lineup thanks to a victory over Jack Draper, ending the qualifier’s impressive run in Montreal.
A Golden Opportunity
For the four remaining title contenders, this weekend represents a potential career-changing moment. Only Hurkacz has won a Masters 1000 trophy before. He has now reached the semifinals in 4 of his last 8 Masters 1000 events on hard courts. For the others, this is mostly uncharted territory.
Ruud, a finalist this year at Roland-Garros and the Rome Masters, enjoys much of his success on clay, and Saturday will be his first semifinal appearance in Canada. Meanwhile, Evans will be playing in his first Masters 1000 semifinal on hard courts.
A Happy Hour Moment
Evans appeared to have had a lovely chat with the adorable young boy, a member of the National Bank Little Aces program, who accompanied him on court tonight. So wholesome!