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Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas, the second and third seed respectively at the National Bank Open in Montreal, do not have the same opinion about the surface of the IGA Stadium. The two players were surprised, but not for the same reasons, when they arrived in the capital.

Posted yesterday at 6:26 PM.

Nicholas Richard

Nicholas Richard

Tsitsipas, who is once again enjoying an excellent season, is one of the most versatile players in the ring. He has won titles at all levels. This season he won a championship on grass and another on clay. He is looking for his first hard court title in 2022.

PHOTO KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH, Associated Press Archives

Stefanos Tsitsipas

He also explained that he was a little surprised by the slowness of the surface at the IGA Stadium, during a meeting with the media, at Place Ville Marie, on Friday, on the occasion of the main draw.

However, this is not a disadvantage for the Greeks, on the contrary. “I think it can help my game in a lot of ways. It’s kind of like a faster version of clay, and the slashing effects nibble a bit more. We obviously have less time to react, but the balls can still bounce with great effect.”

Photo by Catherine Mueller, Reuters archive

Carlos Alcaraz

On the other hand, Carlos Alcaraz, a young Spanish phenomenon, finds the surface faster than he expected. At 19, the second seed is spending a dream season on the ATP Tour. He has won four titles so far. Considering he’s from Spain and grew up playing on clay, all the other surfaces still looked fast. “Getting used to a new surface is difficult, but I am the type of player who can get used to it very quickly. I had to practice my hard game and give 100% to get ready.

Heading to the US Open

The National Bank Open is considered by many players to be the most important tournament of the US Open, the last major tournament of the season. So winning here is of paramount importance and the Montreal setting is worth the gold for most players.

“All tournaments are important, but of course they are different when the Grand Slam approaches. I want to be in good shape for my matches in order to gain more confidence,” said Alcaraz, who lost in the quarter-finals to Felix Auger-Aliassime last year in New York.

Tsitsipás is also considering what a victory in Montreal could mean for his standings and the rest of his season. “Everyone wants to do well in Montreal. It represents a lot of points and all the players want to take advantage of this opportunity. I want to make points to get a good ranking at the end of the year.”

He also argued that the points he earned on Quebec soil could allow him to skip certain tournaments at the end of the season.

After enjoying his vacation, the Greek is ready to strike during this North American series. He says he feels in complete control and the 23-year-old is excited to be sent into battle: “I’m excited to get back to playing tennis well and to play to the best of my abilities. This sequence is special. You have to focus on every tournament.”

The two players could meet in the semi-finals later in the tournament.

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