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Medvedev Maintains Impressive Toronto Record

  • Posted: Aug 10, 2023

Medvedev Maintains Impressive Toronto Record

De Minaur defeats Fritz

Daniil Medvedev continued his standout 2023 ATP Masters 1000 record on Thursday when he cruised past Lorenzo Musetti 6-4, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers.

The second seed was watertight off the ground throughout the one-hour, 33-minute clash, hitting with consistency to limit opportunities for Musetti. Medvedev recovered from a dip in concentration in the second set when he squandered his break advantage, but responded immediately to earn his 48th win of the season.

Medvedev is chasing his third Masters 1000 crown of the season, having triumphed in Miami and Rome. He also reached the final in Indian Wells, holding a 22-3 record at Masters 1000 events this year. If the World No. 3 clinches the title in Toronto, he will join Carlos Alcaraz on a Tour-leading six trophies this season.

The 27-year-old, currently third in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, will next face Alex de Minaur. Medvedev now holds a 9-1 record in Toronto, having triumphed at the Canadian event in 2021.

Musetti was aiming to reach his second Masters 1000 quarter-final of the season after advancing to the last eight on clay in Monte-Carlo. The Italian was unable to sustain any real pressure on Medvedev, who won 82 per cent (28/34) of his first-serve points.

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De Minaur completed a stunning first-set comeback en route to a 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-1 victory against American Taylor Fritz. With his win, the Australian reached the quarter-finals at an ATP Masters 1000 event for the first time.

De Minaur trailed 1-5 in the first set against Fritz, who squandered two set points on serve. The Australian eventually sealed the opener on his sixth set point and took advantage of some loose hitting from Fritz in the third set to advance after two hours and 28 minutes.

Fritz is ninth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin and was hoping to boost his chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals with a deep run in Toronto. However, he struggled to find consistency against De Minaur, committing 55 unforced errors.

”It feels great to finally break that barrier,” De Minaur said when asked about reaching the last eight at a Masters 1000 event for the first time.

“It’s just a never-say-die attitude. It doesn’t matter what the score is. I’m always going to fight till the end. Being able to compete and stay positive got me into the match. I knew even if I lost that set I’d be in the match and playing a lot better.”

Earlier this year the 24-year-old captured the biggest title of his career at the ATP 500 in Acapulco. He has now won six of his past seven matches, after advancing to the title match in Los Cabos last week (l. to Stefanos Tsitsipas).

Did You Know?
Medvedev owns a Tour-leading 31-3 record on hard courts this season.

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Foki Upsets Ruud In Toronto Thriller

  • Posted: Aug 10, 2023

Foki Upsets Ruud In Toronto Thriller

Spaniard next plays McDonald

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina earned his fifth Top 10 win on Thursday when he claimed a hard-fought 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(4) victory against World No. 5 Casper Ruud at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers.

After Davidovich Fokina clinched the first set, play was suspended for one hour and 34 minutes due to rain. Ruud came out firing on the resumption and was two points away from victory, leading 5-3, 30/0 in the third set before the Spaniard came roaring back to clinch a thrilling victory after three hours and three minutes in Toronto.

Davidovich Fokina struck 58 winners and played aggressively in the late stages of the deciding set, advancing to his fourth ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final.

“I kept very focused on every point,” Davidovich Fokina said. “He had the serve to close out the match, but I was focused on every point to be there and not give up. It was very tough. We played long rallies, with a lot of pressure. When I broke for 4-5, it was a show of power to finish the match.”

With his first Top 10 win on a hard court, the 24-year-old improved to 2-1 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series against Ruud, whose best result this year was a run to the final at Roland Garros. The World No. 37 will meet Mackenzie McDonald in the quarter-finals.

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Earlier, McDonald overcame Canadian Milos Raonic 6-3, 6-3 in 71 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 quarter-final.

Raonic, who did not compete between July 2021 and June 2023 due to a series of injuries, earned victories on home soil against Frances Tiafoe and Taro Daniel earlier this week, but was unable to play with the same intensity against McDonald.

The American McDonald is up 16 spots to No. 43 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. The 28-year-old has now advanced to six tour-level quarter-finals this season.

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Kyrgios Withdraws From Cincinnati, US Open

  • Posted: Aug 10, 2023

Kyrgios Withdraws From Cincinnati, US Open

Struff also withdraws

Nick Kyrgios (wrist) and Jan-Lennard Struff (hip) have withdrawn from the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati and the US Open.

Kyrgios, who was a quarter-finalist last year at Flushing Meadows, has only competed in one event this year — in Stuttgart — due to injury. The Australian missed the entire start of the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in January and missed Wimbledon due to a torn ligament in his wrist.

Kyrgios’ injury-plagued season comes following a standout year in 2022, when he reached the Wimbledon final and won the ATP 500 event in Washington D.C. The 28-year-old, who also partnered Thanasi Kokkinakis to win the 2022 Australian Open doubles crown, earned one of his biggest career wins last year in New York, taking out defending champion Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round.

The German Struff reached a career-high No. 21 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in June following two finalist appearances (Madrid, Stuttgart). Boasting a 16-10 season record, the 33-year-old last competed at the American major in 2021.

Argentines Diego Schwartzman and Facundo Diaz Acosta move into the US Open main draw.

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Play Resumes In Toronto After Rain Delay

  • Posted: Aug 10, 2023

Play Resumes In Toronto After Rain Delay

Davidovich Fokina leads Ruud

Play has resumed at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers on Thursday after a one-hour, 34-minute rain delay.

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina leads Norway’s Casper Ruud 7-6(4), 2-3, while Mackenzie McDonald is a break up against Canadian Milos Raonic, leading 3-2 in the first set.

Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev are scheduled to take to court later on Day 4 in third-round action, with Jannik Sinner facing Andy Murray in the second night match at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Toronto.

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Sinner Surge In Live Race On Cards In Toronto

  • Posted: Aug 10, 2023

Sinner Surge In Live Race On Cards In Toronto

Fritz moving into contention

With Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev losing early at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers, several players have an opportunity to make a move in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin.

Jannik Sinner is in prime position to surge as he pursues qualification for the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held in Turin from 12-19 November.

Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin (entering Toronto R3)

 Player  Points
 1) Carlos Alcaraz  6,765
 2) Novak Djokovic  5,945
 3) Daniil Medvedev  5,210
 4) Stefanos Tsitsipas  3,435
 5) Andrey Rublev  3,270
 6) Jannik Sinner  3,265
 7) Holger Rune   3,035
 8) Casper Ruud  2,595
 9) Taylor Fritz  2,470
 10) Alexander Zverev  2,310

If Sinner defeats former World No. 1 Andy Murray in the Toronto third round, he will ascend to fifth in the Live Race. Another win would see him move into fourth.

“Of course you watch these kinds of things. This is why you also practise for,” Sinner said. “But in the other way, we have practised so, so much in the last couple of weeks. Happy to be here, happy to compete again and against the best players in the world and I will play point after point and then we’ll see in the end of the year what’s coming.” 

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Two years ago, Sinner replaced Matteo Berrettini as an alternate mid-tournament at the Pala Alpitour in Turin. This season, he is trying to qualify directly into the field for the first time.

That is a feat American Taylor Fritz achieved last year. The 25-year-old has improved his standing in recent weeks by winning the Atlanta Open and making the semi-finals of the Mubadala Citi DC Open in Washington.

Fritz is currently in ninth place, 125 points behind Casper Ruud for the final qualifying spot. A second ATP Masters 1000 title would propel him as high as fifth in the Live Race. How much is the American following the battle?

“A good amount. I think before Atlanta and like D.C. I wasn’t really looking at it because I knew I was a good amount back, so I was like, ‘There’s no point in me looking at it until I have a good result or make it close’,” Fritz said. “And after Atlanta and D.C., I think Casper and I are pretty much even for the eighth spot. So it is what it is, I just have to have good results for the rest of the year and I think that I’ll have a good chance.

“It’s really going to take one big result in my opinion because 100 points, 200 points here I don’t think is going to mean that much when you have so many guys where you just win finals, win a Masters or semi-final a Slam, that’s just going to jump you in front of everybody else. So it’s really just about having a big result.”

Carlos Alcaraz became the first player to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals when he defeated Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final.

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Raonic's Childhood Coach: 'I Knew He Would Show Up Ready To Go'

  • Posted: Aug 10, 2023

Raonic’s Childhood Coach: ‘I Knew He Would Show Up Ready To Go’

Casey Curtis reflects on Raonic’s run in Toronto

Milos Raonic has enjoyed a memorable start to his National Bank Open Presented by Rogers run, advancing to the third round at the Toronto ATP Masters 1000 event despite playing just four matches since the 2021 Atlanta Open.

In Florida, Raonic’s childhood coach Casey Curtis, who taught the Canadian from age eight through 17, has keenly followed along.

“I’m just obviously really happy for him. We’ve sort of stayed in touch over the last couple years and I know it’s been a tough grind for him,” Curtis told “I knew that he would show up ready to go. He’s not the kind of guy that’s going to try to play himself into shape. He’s going to make sure he’s ready to go before he gets out there and that’s sort of exactly what we’re seeing.”

After struggling with injury, the former No. 3 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings has quickly found his form to compete against some of the best players in the world and after defeating Frances Tiafoe and Taro Daniel, he is a win against Mackenzie McDonald away from making his first Masters 1000 quarter-final since the 2020 Rolex Paris Masters.

It is no surprise to Curtis, who has watched the 32-year-old’s game develop for nearly 25 years.

“He was eight years old and he was on the ball machine at 10 o’clock in the evening and back on again at 6 in the morning with his dad trying to start to get his game into shape so he could join the group that I had going,” Curtis said. “I was coaching him privately and they would work on the ball machine. That was [for] about three months or so. And then he improved quite a bit, but he really picked up his work ethic maybe around the age of 11,12, 13. And [then] I think he understood what it took.

“It wasn’t that he didn’t have the work ethic, I think he always did. But he started to become more aware of exactly the effort that he was going to have to put forth in order to achieve what he’s got now. And he was more than willing to do that once he understood that.”

<a href=Milos Raonic” />
Photo: Mike Lawrence/ATP Tour
According to Curtis, he worked with Raonic at Blackmore Tennis Club in Richmond Hill, which is a short drive from Sobeys Stadium. Club owner Terry Redvers would not charge them the court rate and they would arrive for 6 a.m. sessions.

“There are guys that will come out and you tell them, ‘Hey, this is what you really want to do if you want to try to improve your game and become a great player.’ And they’ll do it for a couple of weeks,” Curtis said. “If it’s something like getting up at 5 in the morning or 5:30 in the morning, they’ll think they’ve got it and they’ll show up for a couple of weeks. And then you don’t see them again for a while or at all.

“So Milos had that perseverance. He just kept coming and kept grinding and it’s why he’s where he’s at.”

It was under Curtis that Raonic’s devastating serve grew into the weapon it is today. Raonic began the tournament third in percentage of career service games won according to Infosys ATP Stats, trailing only Ivo Karlovic and John Isner. Part of the reason it became such a big stroke is that Curtis spent a lot of time focussing on it.

“I kind of felt he was going to be a tall guy because every guy in his family is tall. His father’s tall, his brother’s tall, his cousins and uncles are all tall. So there was a good chance Milos was also going to be tall,” Curtis said. “Pretty much everyone knows how important the serve is. But in particular, if you have a tall individual, I thought it was prudent to spend a lot of time on the serve.”

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Curtis recalled a discussion he had with another coach, who asked him why he was spending hours upon hours harnessing the Canadian’s delivery.

“I said listen, I want this kid to average 15 aces a match. And if he can average 15 aces a match I think he’s got a good shot at being a top professional,” Curtis said. “He had 37 the other night and 15 today.”

Raonic is World No. 545, but he has certainly not played like it in front of his home fans in Toronto.

“He obviously wants to play. I mean, he wants to keep competing. And I think he can see that he’s obviously capable of playing at the highest level,” Curtis said. “You have to ask him where he thinks he’s going to get to, but nothing would surprise me. I’ll tell you, this guy, he’s one of the few guys that can beat the top one or two guys.”

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