Daniil Medvedev Defeats Reilly Opelka to Win 2021 National Bank Open

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 15, 2021

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 15: Daniil Medvedev (RUS) returns the ball during the National Bank Open tennis tournament Final on August 15, 2021, at Aviva Centre in Toronto, ON, Canada. (Photo by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Daniil Medvedev kicked off his swing through the North American hard courts with a tournament victory at the National Bank Open. 

Medvedev entered Toronto as the No. 1 seed and he backed up that status with five straight wins in Canada. He finished off that run with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Reilly Opelka in Sunday's final. 

Tennis TV @TennisTV

Meddy the Master 🙌 The moment @DaniilMedwed topped Reilly Opelka for his fourth Masters 1000 title in Toronto. #NBO21 https://t.co/2dudl3Grlx

The victory gave Medvedev his fourth title at a Masters 1000 event. He has won four consecutive championship matches in those types of events. 

US Open Tennis @usopen

2019 Montreal: Finalist ❌ 2019 Cincinnati: Champion ✅ 2019 Shanghai: Champion ✅ 2020 Paris: Champion ✅ 2021 Toronto: Champion ✅ Just two years after reaching his first ATP Masters 1000 final in Canada, @DaniilMedwed has claimed his *fourth* title at the level #USOpenSeries https://t.co/r7BwVXfGHA

José Morgado @josemorgado

Daniil Medvedev, world number two, beats Reilly Opelka 6-4, 6-3 to win in Toronto his 4th career Masters 1000 title, 1st of the year. 3rd title in 2021 overal after Marseille and Mallorca (250) -- won the ATP Cup as well. https://t.co/9OO3Ddv3px

Although Medvedev was the top seed for the event, he faced a potentially tricky matchup against the hard-serving American. 

Opelka served eight aces, but he only captured 63 percent of the points on his first serve. 

Medvedev's preparation for the match was made a bit easier by his semifinal showdown with John Isner, who like Opelka is a tall, hard-to-break player, especially on hard courts. 

Medvedev forced seven break-point opportunities against the 23-year-old American and he converted on three of those chances. 

The top-seeded player held a significant advantage in return points won. Medvedev won 44 percent of his return points compared to 25 percent from Opelka.

Medvedev also finished with a major edge in serving percentages. He bested Opelka in first-serve and second-serve points won by more than 20 percent each. 

National Bank Open @NBOtoronto

Spectacular view of match point, the moment @DaniilMedwed became the Toronto champ. #NBO21 https://t.co/YLfMsQpX9y

As tennis writer Ben Rothenberg pointed out on Saturday, Medvedev's win gives him a trophy from all of the top one-week hard court tournaments on the ATP Tour. 

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

If he wins the Toronto final tomorrow against Opelka, Daniil Medvedev will have won all five of the five biggest one-week hard court ATP events (also Cincinnati, Shanghai, Paris-Bercy, ATP Finals)

Most of those victories came after Medvedev fell in the final of this event two years ago to Rafael Nadal. He is 4-0 in Masters 1000 finals since then. One of those victories came at the Cincinnati Masters event, which is next up on the pre-U.S. Open schedule. 

Medvedev is the No. 1 seed for the event in Cincinnati. Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev are all entered in the event. 

All of those players will try to hone their game as close to perfection as possible to challenge Novak Djokovic at the U.S. Open.