Nadal shook off the rust last week in Washington, D.C., where he contested his first hard-court event since February. But his debut was cut short in the Round of 16 by an inspired performance from South Africa’s Lloyd Harris – the same player he could face in his Toronto opening match. Nadal, seeded second, awaits the winner of Harris and a qualifier in the second round.
The Spaniard has won the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers trophy five times: twice in Toronto and three times in Montreal as the ATP Masters 1000 event alternates host cities every year. In 2018 and 2019, Nadal completed the Montreal-Toronto double, winning back-to-back titles in each city. With a 38-8 record, including a perfect 5-0 mark in finals, across 13 appearances, the Canadian tournament is Nadal’s most successful hard-court ATP Masters 1000 event.
Nadal will have no shortage of challenges as he seeks a sixth trophy in the Great White North: if he gets through his second-round test, he could be in for a potential meeting with 14th seed Grigor Dimitrov or an unseeded Nick Kyrgios in the next round. Dimitrov awaits the winner of Kyrgios and big-serving Reilly Opelka.
Also in Nadal’s half of the draw, third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas anchors the action as he contests his first tournament since the Tokyo Olympics. Tsitsipas has shined on clay-courts this year, but his hard-court results include a semi-final run at the Australian Open (l. to Medvedev) and final in Acapulco (l. to Zverev).
The Greek player has landed in a tricky section, and could meet 15th seed Aslan Karatsev in the third round. Tsitsipas will start against the winner of Ugo Humbert and Lorenzo Sonego, while Karatsev awaits either Cameron Norrie or Karen Khachanov.
World No. 2 Daniil Medevedev is the top seed in Toronto, and he could face a familiar foe in the second round. Medvedev, who reached the 2019 final (l. to Nadal), awaits the winner of Daniel Evans and Alexander Bublik. It would be the Russian’s first meeting with the fast-rising Evans, and a rematch of his Roland Garros opener with Bublik. Should he advance, he could book a third-round clash with #NextGenATP Jannik Sinner.
Countryman Andrey Rublev is also in Medvedev’s half, seeded fourth. He could meet 13th seed Cristian Garin in the third round, but would have to navigate past a section that includes an unseeded John Isner, who recently won an ATP 250 title in Atlanta. Rublev will face the winner of Jan-Lennard Struff and Fabio Fognini in his first match.