Scouting report: Medvedev leads the way in Montreal, Alcaraz makes debut | ATP Tour

The world’s best return to ATP Masters 1000 action this week when the ATP Tour visits Montreal National Bank Open Presented by Rogers.

World #1 Daniel Medvedev leads the field in Quebec where he is looking to defend the crown he won in Toronto in 2021. Carlo Alcaraz is chasing his third Masters 1000 title of the season and is the second seed in his Canadian Masters 1000 debut Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov will try to channel support from their home fans.

ATPTour.com looks at 10 things to see in Montreal.

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1) Medvedev aims for more Canadian success: Medvedev claimed the title when the Canadian ATP Masters 1000 event was held in Toronto last season. With action set to take place in Montreal this week, the 26-year-old will look to maintain his strong hard-court record and clinch his 14th surface title. The top seed, who advanced to his first Masters 1000 championship game in Montreal in 2019, could face Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios in a blockbuster duel in the second round if the Australian overcomes Sebastian Bass in the first round.

2) Alcaraz makes Montreal debut: #NextGenATP Spain’s Alcaraz is set to make his Quebec debut as he looks to build on his stellar season. The 19-year-old won Masters 1000 trophies in Miami and Madrid earlier this season and arrives in Canada after runs to clay court finals in Hamburg and Umag. The second seed, currently at a career high at No. 4 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings, meets American Thomas Paul or Canadian wild card Vasek Pospisil in his opening game.

3) Tsitsipas, Ruud make hard court returns: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Kasper Ruud have traditionally shown their best tennis on clay courts in recent years, winning a combined 12 titles on the surface. However, Ruud showed a strong hard-court pedigree earlier this season when he reached the final in Miami, while Greek Tsitsipas has won four titles on hard-court including the Nitto ATP Finals Crown 2019.

Both will aim to find their groove quickly in Montreal as they prepare to compete in a tough competition for the first time since April in Miami. Third-seeded Tsitsipas, who reached the semi-finals in Toronto last year, meets a qualifier in his first game while fourth-seeded Ruud takes on the Slovak Alex Molcan or american Mackenzie McDonald.

4) Felix & Shapo carry hopes home: The duo that led Team Canada to ATP Cup Fame return home in January to end the wait for a home winner at the Canadian Masters 1000 event. Auger-Aliassime, who achieved his first tour level in Rotterdam in February, is making his second appearance in Montreal after advancing to the third round in 2019. Shapovalov has fond memories of home soil after his defeat Rafael Nadal during a dream run to the semifinals on his debut in 2017. Auger-Aliassime, sixth in the seeded group, starts against Japan Yoshihito Nishioka or a qualifier and Shapovalov takes on the Atlanta champion Alex from Minaur.

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5) Triple Champ Murray takes on Fritz: Andy Murray will try to pick up steam again when he goes to court at an event where he has had so much success. The former world No. 1 clinched the title in Montreal in 2009 and 2015, while also triumphing in Toronto in 2010. The Scot faces a tricky opener in Canada, however, with 10th place TaylorFritz waits in the first round.

The American has had a strong season highlighted by his maiden Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells. The 24-year-old, who is on the verge of breaking the top 10 on the Pepperstone ATP rankings, will look to progress beyond the first round in Canada for the first time when he takes on Murray in their first ATP Head2Head meeting.

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6) Can Red-Hot Kyrgios hold his form?: Nick Kyrgios will arrive in Quebec in red-hot form after securing the run to his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon by reaching the final in Washington, where he is still fighting for the title. The Aussie, making his fourth appearance in Montreal, has a 26-7 record this season (he reaches the Washington finals) and will look to improve on that further when he meets Baez in the first round.

7) Rublev & Sinner want to build on recent success: Andrei Rublev has won three tour-level titles this season and is in strong form after reaching the semifinals in Washington last week. The 24-year-old is aiming for his first ATP Masters 1000 crown this week and will compete against it Daniel Evans or Filip Krajinovic. After winning four titles in 2021, Italian Jannik sinner Last month he returned to the winners’ circle in Umag, defeating Alcaraz in a thrilling final on clay. The 20-year-old is keen to repeat his recent success in Montreal, where he meets a qualifier on his debut.

8) Pepperstone ATP Race to Turin is heating up: As the ATP Tour season rolls into August, the Pepperstone ATP Race to Turin has started to heat up. Since Auger-Aliassime is currently in eighth place in the qualification, Fritz, Hubert Hurkacz, Matteo Berretini and Cameron Norrie will try to close the gap and increase their chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals in November.

11th-placed Hurkacz reached the quarterfinals in Toronto last season, starting against the former world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka or Emil Ruusuvuoriagainst which the twelfth-placed Italian Berrettini competes Pablo Carreno Busta. Britain’s Norrie is 13th and has won two tour-level hard court titles this season. The 26-year-old will play Brandon Nakashima in the first round.

9) #NextGenATP stars in action: Dane Holger Rune and America’s Nakashima will try to boost their hopes of qualifying for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals for the second year in a row when they make their Quebec debut. The 19-year-old Rune is fourth in the Pepperstone ATP Race to Milan and will open against a qualifier while the seventh Nakashima plays Norrie. Nakashima has had strong results in North America, reaching finals on hard in Los Cabos and Atlanta last season.

10) Ram/Salisbury lead double field: Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury will lead the doubles field as top seeds as they seek to retain their title in Canada after triumphing in Toronto last year. However, the American-British tandem will face stiff competition from the second seed Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos and third seed Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupsky. Granollers and Zeballos lifted the trophy in Montreal in 2019 and are four-time Masters 1000 title lists, while Koolhof and Skupski have won five Tour-leading titles this season.

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