The National Bank Open, formerly Rogers Cup

Zverev finds himself in elite company after win in Madrid

May 12, 2021
zverev fist pumps to celebrate a point won

Photo : Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

Following his victory at the Mutua Madrid Open, Alexander Zverev joins Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray as the only active players with at least four ATP Masters 1000 titles.

Zverev, who captured the National Bank Open presented by Rogers title in 2017, played arguably the best tennis of his career.

He won his first four matches in straight sets, including impressive victories over Nadal and Dominic Thiem. The only set lost by the German superstar was in the finals – a tiebreak against the surging Matteo Berrettini.

It was an exciting week of tennis in the Spanish capital. It gave us a glimpse of what to expect in the upcoming months – it is clay season after all!

Berrettini, now ranked inside the Top 10, had an excellent run and is looking like one of the favourites heading into the French Open in Paris.

Daniil Medvedev, despite making it clear during his opening round match how much he despises the clay surface ironically leapfrogs the King of Clay to take possession of the World No. 2 seed.

Canadians in Madrid

The only Canadians in action in the men’s singles were Denis Shapovalov and Félix Auger-Aliassime. Their tournaments were short-lived as Auger-Aliassime was knocked off in the first round and Shapovalov in the second.

On the bright side, Ottawa native Gabriela Dabrowski earned a final appearance in the women’s doubles with Dutch partner Demi Schuurs.

Looking forward to Rome

Next up, the Italian Open – the last ATP Masters 1000 tournament before the National Bank Open in August.

Nadal will look to get back on track after a disappointing outing in his home country.

Canada’s Auger-Aliassime is off to a hot start, defeating Filip Krajinović 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4, and winning in dominant fashion against the World No. 10 seed and 2020 Italian Open finalist Diego Schwartzman.

His countryman, Shapovalov, started a winning streak of his own after taking down Kamil Majchrzak 6-1, 6-3 and Stefano Travaglia 7-6(2), 6-3 in the first two rounds.

It will be an entertaining week in Rome – Nadal and Djokovic, who’ve both dominated the Italian Open for the past 15 years are still in the running. 

Interestingly enough, the last three National Bank Open winners also won the Italian Open earlier that year. Who’s to say it won’t happen again? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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