'Rafael Nadal and me had a really good talk about...', says NHL star

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'Rafael Nadal and me had a really good talk about...', says NHL star

Rafael Nadal will not be short of challenges as he hunts for a sixth trophy in Canada: If he makes it through his second-round test, he could face a possible meeting with 14th seed Grigor Dimitrov or an unseeded Nick Kyrgios in the next round.

Dimitrov awaits the winner of Kyrgios and Reilly Opelka. Also in the middle of Nadal's draw, third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas returns to action as he plays his first tournament since the Tokyo Olympics. Tsitsipas has shone on clay this year, but his results on hard courts include a semi-final at the Australian Open (l.

To Medvedev) and a final in Acapulco (l. To Zverev). The Greek player has landed on a tough stretch and could face 15th seed Aslan Karatsev in the third round. Tsitsipas will start against the winner of Ugo Humbert and Lorenzo Sonego, while Karatsev awaits Cameron Norrie or Karen Khachanov.

World No. 2 Daniil Medevedev is the top seed in Toronto, and he could face a familiar foe in the second round. Medvedev, who reached the 2019 final (l. To Nadal), awaits the winner of Daniel Evans and Alexander Bublik. It would be the Russian’s first meeting with the fast-rising Evans, and a rematch of his Roland Garros opener with Bublik.

Should he advance, he could book a third-round clash with #NextGenATP Jannik Sinner. On his side, his compatriot Andrey Rublev is also in the middle of Medvedev and will be the fourth seeded. He could face 13th seed Cristian Garin in the third round, but would have to overcome a section that includes a tough underseed like John Isner, who recently won the ATP 250 title in Atlanta.

Lars Eller on meeting Rafael Nadal

NHL star Lars Eller recently met Rafael Nadal during the 2021 Citi Open in Washington and gifted the Spaniard a Washington Capitals jersey with the Mallorcan’s name and No. 21 on the back.

"It was great meeting him," Eller was quoted as saying by Washington City Paper. "We had a really good talk about both hockey and tennis. It was a tremendous experience to have had the chance to meet and talk to him for a bit."

The Dane then went on to heap praise on Roger Federer, mentioning how he admires the Swiss in all aspects. Eller admitted to being an admirer of Federer and Nadal's "humble personalities" and their continued dominance in the sport.

“I’ve always enjoyed watching Federer," continued the Dane. "I think he’s just amazing on so many levels. I admire him as a person [and] as an athlete. But the same thing with Nadal. I really admire their humble personalities, and the fact that they’ve been able to stay on top of their sport for so many years—you know, decades."