Sarah-Jade Champagne/Tennis Canada
The National Bank Open presented by Rogers will crown a new champion this year. After Carlos Alcaraz’s surprise elimination, current titleholder and World No.1 Daniil Medvedev was put through the wringer at IGA Stadium in Montréal.
He suffered the wrath of Nick Kyrgios, who’s been unbeatable since he set foot in North America. The match was an incontrovertible demonstration of his tremendous talent and remarkable form.
In just under two hours (1:59), he dismantled the great Medvedev 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-2 in front of a stunned crowd that made no effort to hide its preference for Kyrgios.
“The whole match I felt the crowd’s support. That’s what kept me going,” Kyrgios said after the match. “Of course, he’s the best player in the world, and he’ll win a lot more Grand Slams. Beating him is a really special feeling.”
In the first set, Medvedev fought off a set point at 4-5 to arrange a tiebreak in which Kyrgios was dominated 7-2. That’s when the Australian made some noise and shot a ball into the stands in a gesture that earned him a warning from the chair umpire. It was a tipping point at which he could have lost control but didn’t.
In the second set, Kyrgios broke Medvedev in the first game and closed it out in just 38 minutes.
The third set was more of a formality than a clash of titans. Two breaks by Kyrgios propelled him to a victory whose outcome was actually less surprising than it seems. The match was a struggle between one player trying to find his bearings and another player brimming with confidence after winning in Washington.
The tortoise overtakes the hare
Even though he can’t seem to shake his bad habit of slow starts, Jannik Sinner knows when to pick up the pace. And he provided proof of that yet again against French qualifier Adrian Mannarino on Rogers Court. At the outcome of the opening set, the Italian ace was down 2-6 but went on to win the next two 6-4 and 6-2, raising his game as the match progressed.
Marin Cilic of Croatia defeated Karen Khachanov in jiffy. He and his big serves triumphed in two sets (6-3, 6-2).