They may have pinned the three-time Slam champion Andy Murray or 2021 Indian Wells title list Cameron Norrienot in 39th place Daniel Evansto be the last Brit standing in Montreal, but it’s the 32-year veteran who advances to his second ATP Masters 1000 semi-final after a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 turn against the American Thomas Paul.
Evans, who will meet the Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta For the first time, he’s clearly enjoying the opportunity presented to him. He knows exactly what is at stake.
“Listen, anyone who tells you they don’t think about their position in the tournament is lying. You mind business, but it’s always in the back of your mind what part of the tournament you’re in,” he said. “That’s why you play tennis. That’s why I’m fighting out here and trying every day with the exercise, with the fitness.”
FOLLOW THIS WEEK’S ACTION
Carreno Busta, a 7-6(4), 6-1 winner over Great Britain Jack Draper in the quarterfinals, is in his third ATP Masters 1000 semifinals – all three on hard courts.
“It’s very important for my confidence, for myself,” said Carreno Busta, who hasn’t lost a set all week. “I play very solid. I know I have a chance to be in the final tomorrow. I have to be at 100 percent again. I need to recover as much as possible. Evans is also having an incredible week so we’ll see. But I still have a chance to be in a final.”
It took a 20 aces lock for the eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz from Poland to bring incandescent Aussie Nick Kyrgios‘Series over, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 6-1, on Friday at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers. Beginning with his run to Wimbledon In the final, Kyrgios had won 15 of his last 16 games, including nine in a row and winning the title in Washington.
But extended matchplay may have caught up with the 27-year-old at the IGA Stadium against Hurkacz, who also defeated him in a trophy boost earlier this summer in Halle. (When asked if he could read Kyrgios better than his ATP peers, Hurkacz smiled, “Probably not.)
The Montreal draw was wide open for Hurkacz, with five of the top eight seeds including world No. 1 and the defending champion Daniel Medvedev, gone before the quarterfinals. However, the 23-year-old Pole is by no means surprised by the shock.
“The level between the top 10 to top 40 is so tight now that on paper it might look like some of the guys are below it, but the level is really incredible,” said the 25-year-old for the fourth time an ATP Masters 1000 semifinals. “Every single game is fifty-fifty.”
Hurkacz’s semi-final opponent is the highest seeded standing Kasper Ruud of Norway, who is ranked No. 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Live rankings and is poised to hit a career-high No. 4 with a win on Saturday.
Ruud, who played the role of spoiler against hometown favorite Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarterfinals against Hurkacz in their only previous encounter en route to their 20th Roland Garros Finals in June, 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
Ruud is getting more and more comfortable on the biggest stages of tennis every day. This is his third Masters 1000 semi-final this year.
“Sometimes it’s a little bit of coincidence and the draw, the players you like to play or not. But that’s a very good result for me,” said the 23-year-old, who already has three titles this year (Buenos Aires, Geneva, Gstaad). “I didn’t think that was going to happen as it was my first hard court tournament. But I played great from the first point of the first game to the last point today, so I’m very happy with the level I’m able to deliver.”
Both players have had success on hard courts at the ATP Masters 1000 level. Ruud played his way to the Miami Open final in April, while Hurkacz won the same event in 2021 (Def. Jannik sinner7-6(4), 6-4).
“It’s going to be hard work. Hubert is always dangerous, a good player on any surface – especially on hard courts,” said Ruud. “He knows what it takes to win a Masters 1000 event. He’s back in a semifinal and he’s looking good, looking strong.”
Hurkacz leads the four semifinalists on the INSIGHTS: In Attack metric, playing 24.4 percent of his shots in attack this week. But Ruud leads the way on steal rate, gaining 40.6 percent of points from defense. (Learn more about INSIGHTS.)