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Montreal : August 3 - 12, 2024
Toronto : August 4 - 12, 2024
NBO Results

Peroni Nastro Azzuro Refresh: Recap of the 2023 National Bank Open

A spectacular week of tennis finishes with Jessica Pegula as the 2023 National Bank Open champion.

What a week of tennis! There was never any doubt that the talented women of the WTA Tour would treat Montrealers to the best that the sport has to offer – and they certainly did so, as fans throughout the week truly got to Feel Tennis at the highest level from start to finish.

Let’s look back on the incredible week of tennis we were all treated to in this final Peroni Nastro Azzuro Refresh.

Qualifying weekend saw record turnout as fans and their families enjoyed not only the great activities around the site as part of IGA Family Weekend but also a stacked qualifying draw. The highlight of qualifying was a blockbuster clash between fan-favourite Genie Bouchard and eventual quarter-finalist Danielle Collins, which was won by the American, 6-1, 1-6, 6-1.

Caroline Wozniacki
Photo : Pascal Ratthé

The luck of the draw was on Canadians’ side, as all three Canadian wild cards drew qualifiers in their opening round. Leylah Fernandez was the sole Canadian to advance, defeating Peyton Stearns in straight sets. Fans were also treated to Caroline Wozniacki’s first win in three years after retiring from the sport to start a family, as well as a wild win for the also-comebacking Jennifer Brady, who downed Jelena Ostapenko 7-6(7), 0-6, 7-6(8) in one of the craziest scorelines you’ll see in tennis.

In second round action, most of the tournament’s top seeds survived stern challenges across the board, with only Caroline Garcia and Maria Sakkari losing out in their opener. A blockbuster clash between last year’s finalist Beatriz Haddad Maia and Fernandez was the highlight of the second round, as the Canadian favourite survived three tough sets to thrill the Montreal crowd with a win.

Leylah Fernandez
Photo : Pascal Ratthé

Rain delays – which would be a challenge throughout the week – saw Elena Rybakina play an epic against Brady over the course of two days as ultimately she edged out the win in three close sets. And that wouldn’t be the only epic for Rybakina, as she defeated Daria Kasatkina in one of the best matches this season, 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(8), and finishing just before 3 o’clock in the morning.

On the other half of the draw, Pegula would face good friend Coco Gauff, eliminating her doubles partner in three tightly contested sets. Top seed Iga Swiatek managed to navigate a tricky draw to reach the semi-finals despite never feeling fully comfortable with the quicker conditions and heavier balls.

Photo : Sarah-Jade Champagne

In the semis, the World No. 1 faced Pegula in their eighth career head-to-head, with the American coming out on top in a tense three-setter after recovering from a break down in the final set. On Championship Sunday, eventual finalist Liudmila Samsonova and Rybakina once again had to play a rain delayed match – this time with the added challenge of knowing the winner would have to play the final against Pegula a few hours later.

It was Samsonova, ultimately, who was able to find her range despite a challenging schedule throughout the week, knocking out an exhausted Rybakina to reach her maiden WTA 1000 final. She didn’t have much left in the tank for the final, unfortunately, but can be proud of her efforts this week – as can World No. 3 Pegula, who leaves Montreal with her second trophy at this level and all the momentum she could have hoped for going into the US Open in a few weeks time.