Scout Report: Medvedev leads the way in Montreal, Alcaraz makes his debut | ATP . round

The best return in the world is at the ATP Masters 1000 this week as the ATP Tour visits Montreal for the National Bank Open presented by Rogers.

World number one Daniil Medvedev leads the field in Quebec, as he seeks to defend the title he won in Toronto in 2021. Carlos Alcaraz is chasing his third Masters 1000 title this season and is the second seed on his Canadian Masters 1000 debut, while Felix Ogier will look forward to -Aliasim and Denis Shapovalov to direct the support of their fans at home.

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

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1) Medvedev seeks more Canadian success: Medvedev took the title when the Canadian ATP Masters 1000 was held in Toronto last season. With the event set to take place in Montreal this week, the 26-year-old will be looking to maintain his solid hardcourt record and clinch his 13th title on the rooftop. The top seed, who made his first match of the Masters 1000 in Montreal in 2019, could face Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios in a stunning second-round clash if the Australian beats Sebastian Baez in the first round.

2) Alcaraz debuts in Montreal: Spain’s #NextGenATP Alcaraz will make his debut in Quebec as he looks to build on his outstanding season. The 19-year-old won the Masters 1000 titles in Miami and Madrid earlier this season, and arrived in Canada after kicking off the clay-court finals in Hamburg and Umag. The second seed, who currently sits fourth in the Pepperstone ATP Ranking, will face American Tommy Paul or Canadian wild card Vasek Pospisil in his opening match.

3) Tsitsipas and Rudd strictly repeat the court: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Rudd have done their best in clay court tennis in recent years, having claimed 12 titles on the surface between them. However, Rudd showed strong hardcourt pedigree earlier this season when he reached the final in Miami, while Greece’s Tsitsipas won four hardcourt titles, including the Nitto ATP Finals in 2019.

Both will aim to quickly find their groove in Montreal as they prepare to compete aggressively for the first time since April in Miami. Third seed Tsitsipas, who reached the semi-finals in Toronto last year, will face a qualifying match in his first match, while fourth seed Ruud will face either Slovakian Alex Mulkan or American Mackenzie MacDonald.

4) Amal Felix and Shabu: The duo who led Canada to glory in the ATP Cup in January return home to get another shot at ending the wait for a home champion at the Canadian Masters 1000 event. Auger Aliassime, who sealed his first level in Rotterdam in February, makes his second appearance in Montreal , having made it to the third round in 2019. Shapovalov has fond memories of being at home after he upset Rafael Nadal during his dream. In the semi-finals for the first time in 2017. Sixth-seeded Auger-Aliassime starts against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka or one of the qualifiers and faces Atlanta champion Shapovalov Alex de Minaur.

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5) Champion Murray takes three times in Fritz: Andy Murray will be looking to regain momentum when he steps onto the court in an event he has had so much success in. The former world number one took the title in Montreal in 2009 and 2015, while also triumphing in Toronto in 2010. The Scot faces a tough opening match in Canada, with 10th seed Taylor Fritz awaiting in the first round.

The American enjoyed a solid season, highlighted by his first Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells. The 24-year-old, who was on the cusp of breaking into the top 10 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings, will be looking to advance beyond the first round in Canada for the first time when he faces Murray in his first ATP Head2Head meet.

6) Can hot Kyrios keep its shape?: Nick Kyrgios will arrive in Quebec in spirited form, having propped up his run to his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon by advancing to the semi-finals in Washington, where he is still contending for the title. The Australian, making his fourth appearance in Montreal, holds a season record 25-7 (enters the Washington semi-finals) and will look to improve that even more when he plays Baez in the first round.

7) Rublev & Sinner looks to build on recent success: Andrey Rublev has lifted three Tour Championship titles this season and is in good shape, having made it to the semi-finals in Washington last week. The 24-year-old is chasing his first ATP Masters 1000 title this week and will start against Daniel Evans or Filip Krajinovic. After winning four titles in 2021, Italian Yannick Sener returned to the winners circle at Umag last month, beating Alcaraz in a thrilling claycourt final. The 20-year-old will be keen to build on his recent success in Montreal, where he faces a qualifying match on his debut.

8) Pepperstone ATP race to Turin heats up: With the ATP Tour season approaching in August, the Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin is starting to heat up. With Auger-Aliassime currently finishing last in qualifying in eighth place, Fritz, Hubert Hurkacz, Matteo Berrettini and Cameron Nouri will be looking to close the gap and increase their chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals in November.

Eleventh-placed Hurkacz reached the quarter-finals in Toronto last season and started against former world number three Stan Wawrinka or Emile Rosofori, as 12th-placed Italian Berrettini started against Pablo Carino Busta. Britain’s Nouri is 13th and has won two hardcourt titles this season. The 26-year-old will play Brandon Nakashima in the first round.

9) #NextGenATP Stars in Action: Dan Holger Ron and American Nakashima will be looking to boost their hopes of qualifying for the next-generation ATP Finals for the second year in a row when they make their debut in Quebec. 19-year-old Ron is fourth in the Pepperstone ATP race to Milan and will open for one of the qualifiers, while seventh-placed Nakashima plays Nuri. Nakashima had strong results in North America, reaching the finals strong in Los Cabos and Atlanta last season.

10) Ram/Salisbury LED Doublefield: Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury will lead the doubles competition as the top two seed as they seek to retain their title in Canada after winning in Toronto last year. However, the US-British tandem will face stiff competition from second seed Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos and third seed Wesley Koulhoff and Neil Skopsky. The Granollers and Zeballos lifted the trophy in Montreal in 2019 and claimed four Masters 1000 titles, while Koolhof and Skupski won five leading titles in the campaign.

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