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Tennis | 10sBalls shares Ricky’s picks for this week’s ATP Masters 1000 in Montreal

World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev is fresh off winning the Los Cabos championship.

By Ricky Dimon

With Novak Djokovic unvaccinated, Rafael Nadal still nursing an abdominal injury, and Roger Federer not particularly close to returning, the Montreal Masters will be a Big 3-free event. That means the title is relatively up for grabs—just as it could be at the upcoming U.S. Open, whether or not Nadal is healthy for that tournament.

For now, the result is what should be an interesting week north of the border. World No. 1 and defending champion Daniil Medvedev is obviously the favorite on paper, but he is coming off a long week in Los Cabos. Carlos Alcaraz, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jannik Sinner, Nick Kyrgios, and Canadian hopeful Felix Auger-Aliassime will also be looking to contend.

National Bank Open Presented by Rogers

Where: Montreal, Canada
Prize money: $5,926,545
Top seed: Daniil Medvedev
Defending champion: Daniil Medvedev

Medvedev is not only playing on little rest, but he is also faced with a rough draw. If Kyrgios wins his first-round match against Sebastian Baez, it will be Medvedev-Kyrgios in the last 32. The Aussie also just had an arduous week at the office, as he currently finds himself in both the singles and doubles finals in Washington, D.C. Along with Medvedev, Hubert Hurkacz is the other bye recipient in the top quarter of the bracket. The Pole’s opener could come against Emil Ruusuvuori, just as it did this past week in D.C.—where Ruusuvuori pulled off the upset.

Auger-Aliassime is in the top half of the draw, as well, and he is in a favorable spot since No. 4 seed Casper Ruud is not at his best on hard courts. Of course, Auger-Aliassime is not in great form at the moment so the door could be open for other participants. Jenson Brooksby, Brandon Nakashima, Miomir Kecmanovic, Botic van de Zandschulp, and current Washington, D.C. finalist Yoshihito Nishioka are among the dangerous floaters.

Jannik Sinner

At the bottom of the draw, Andrey Rublev will be eager to bounce back from a disappointing semifinal loss to Nishioka in the district. Rublev and Alcaraz are on a collision course for the Montreal quarters. It won’t be easy setting up that potential showdown, however, as Taylor Fritz, Andy Murray, Frances Tiafoe, and Tommy Paul are lurking close by. Fritz and Murray are going head-to-head in round one, while Paul is a possible opening opponent for Alcaraz.

Tsitsipas, Sinner, and Matteo Berrettini highlight the third quarter of the bracket. With Tsitsipas slumping and Berrettini rusty following a Covid-19 case that forced him out of Wimbledon, Sinner may be the favorite to reach at least the semifinals. The Italian has a favorable draw in the early rounds, too, whereas Tsitsipas could run into trouble in the form of Maxime Cressy not far into the tournament.

Quarterfinal picks: Daniil Medvedev over David Goffin, Miomir Kecmanovic over Jenson Brooksby, Jannik Sinner over Maxime Cressy, and Carlos Alcaraz over Frances Tiafoe

Semifinals: Medvedev over Kecmanovic and Sinner over Alcaraz

: Medvedev over Sinner

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.