Pascal Ratthe/Tennis Canada
On Sunday, Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain won the National Bank Open presented by Rogers with a three-set win over Hubert Hurkacz of Poland (3-6, 6-3, 6-3).
The title is the Spaniard’s very first Masters 1000 crown. It makes the 31-year-old the second-oldest first-time winner of an ATP Masters 1000 in the Open Era.
Carreno Busta takes home the winner’s trophy and a cheque for US$915,295 (US$499,830 for Hurkacz).
The match, which lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes, pitted an ultra-powerful server against a flawless returner capable of wearing down his rival with his consistency and tennis smarts. It was the more patient and more precise Pablo Carreno Busta who was able to dismantle his opponent to take the top honours.
In the first set, Hurkacz seemed to be headed for glory. In less than 31 minutes, he wounded the Spaniard with a break in the 6th game and 6 aces (versus one for Carreno Busta).
As expected, Carreno Busta got back on track at the start of the second set. Increasingly accurate and able to dictate the pace, he broke Hurkacz on his first attempt and closed out the set in 35 minutes.
The eventual champion was even stronger in the third. In complete control, he shuffled his opponent from left to right and secured a break in the third game. Calm and confident, he dominated the rallies and hit great shots. Another break at 5-3 gave him the win on a silver platter.
“This was my first final in this kind of tournament, and I didn’t want to let it slip away,” he explained. “Right now, I have a great feeling, one of the best of my career. I loved my experience in Montréal, and I thank everyone.”
Will he be celebrating tonight? “I have to fly to Cincinnati tonight. I play on Tuesday,” he said.
Hurkacz served exceptionally well throughout the match, racking up 18 aces (3 double faults) versus 4 for Carreno Busta (no double faults), but he also committed 24 unforced errors (10 for Carreno Busta) and was dominated 68 points versus 76.
In the final of a tournament of this magnitude, power on serve wasn’t enough.
New attendance record
Who would have thought? Despite the early demise of the top seeds, the tournament set an attendance record!
No less than 237,158 people came through the gates of IGA Stadium in Montréal, totally eclipsing the 2019 record of 223,023 spectators.
After having professional tennis taken away by the pandemic, the huge crowds created an exhilarating atmosphere throughout the week to the delight of the players.