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Tournament News

2023 National Bank Open Toronto Players: Meet the Dark Horses in the Men's Draw

by Pete Borkowski

July 31, 2023

While the National Bank Open has been dominated by the world's best players, with only one male champion not ranked in the Top 10 since 2003, it is never out of the realm of possibility that someone could sneak up and steal the title from the favourites.

In fact, that one instance of a non-Top 10 player winning in Canada was just last year in Montreal.

Here are a few lower-ranked players to keep an eye on this August in Toronto.

Andy Murray

  • Age: 36
  • Current Ranking: 44
  • Career-High: 1
  • NBO Appearance: 12th
  • Best NBO Result: Champion (3: 2009, 2010, 2015)
  • Most Recent NBO Result: R1 (2022)
  • 2023 Record: 9-10
  • Career NBO Record: 26-7

With Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic absent, Sir Andy Murray will be the winningest player in the Toronto draw this summer. The Scot has won three titles at the National Bank Open, including in 2010 in Toronto when he emerged victorious from a semifinal lineup composed exclusively of the Big Four.

Despite his past success at the event, this will be Murray's first appearance in the Ontario capital since 2014. While it seems his Slam-winning days are behind him, the Scot is still a highly competitive player and one of the toughest opponents to put away on tour, as exemplified by his multiple dramatic comeback wins this year.

Read also: Meet the Canadian Men

Murray is the co-owner, along his fellow Slam-winning brother Jamie, of Cromlix House, a five-star hotel housed in a Victorian mansion in Scotland.

Hubert Hurkacz

  • Age: 26
  • Current Ranking: 17
  • Career-High: 9
  • NBO Appearance: 4th
  • Best NBO Result: Runner-Up (2022)
  • Most Recent NBO Result: Runner-Up (2022)
  • 2023 Record: 25-15
  • Career NBO Record: 7-3

For over two years now, Hurkacz has been a consistent Top 20 player, spending much of that time in the 10 to 15 range. He nearly brought home his second Masters 1000 title last year in Montreal but lost in the final to Pablo Carreno Busta.

It has been a slightly down season for the Pole, but he looked strong in a hard-fought battle with Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon and a return to Canada could be the spark he needs. Hurkacz has reached the quarter-finals or better in two of his three appearances at the National Bank Open. He is also a very clutch player late in tournaments. His loss in the Montreal final a year ago is his only defeat in a final on the ATP Tour (6-1 record).

Hurkacz loves cars and even has a partnership with the McLaren Racing Team.

Christopher Eubanks

  • Age: 27
  • Current Ranking: 29
  • Career-High: 31
  • NBO Appearance: Debut
  • 2023 Record: 18-12

The breakout star of Wimbledon will be making his debut in Canada this summer. Eubanks made his first major quarter-final at the All-England Club earlier this month, scoring wins over Cameron Norrie and Stefanos Tsitsipas and setting a record for the most winners hit in a run to the last eight.

2023 has been a career year for the former NCAA player. Eubanks also won his first title last month in Mallorca and reached his first Masters 1000 quarter-final in Miami. His opening match in Canada will be his first Masters 1000 match outside of his native United States.

Eubanks is good friends with actor Jamie Foxx and once knocked the Academy-Award-winner over with a serve when the two were playing.

Main draw play begins in Toronto on Aug. 7.

The ATP's best return to Toronto this summer for the National Bank Open August 5 to 13 at Sobeys Stadium. Tickets are on sale. Get your tickets today!