Canadian wild card Milos Raonic put together a masterful performance to pull off a 6-7 (12), 7-6 (4), 6-3 upset of ninth-seeded Frances Tiafoe of the United States in the first round of the National Bank Open on Monday in Toronto.
Raonic was away from tennis for nearly two years due to a slew of injuries, but he was at his best on Monday in front of the home crowd. After dropping a 26-point tiebreak in the opening set, Raonic rallied, and he ended up amassing 37 aces in the victory, one short of his personal best that he set 12 years ago.
"Two years away, five years from playing in Toronto, a whole four years since I got to play in front of my parents, who were there for the majority of my matches as a junior and a majority of my matches as a pro," Raonic said. "All of these things came together for a great night for me and I'm incredibly grateful for it."
In other first-round action, Frenchman Gael Monfils outlasted American upstart Christopher Eubanks 7-6 (3), 6-7 (4), 6-1. Monfils finished with a 14-6 edge in aces and won 45 of his 55 first-service points (81.8 percent) to beat Eubanks in two hours and 26 minutes.
"It's always good to beat top players. I am very happy," Monfils said. "I served for the match and had a couple of match points, so I had to refocus on the simple stuff, use my quick feet and be more aggressive as I had been tense and let him dictate too much."
Polish No. 15 seed Hubert Hurkacz, who made the finals of Canada's national open last year, beat Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik 6-3, 7-6 (2) on Monday. Bublik had 10 aces but also committed 10 double faults. No. 16 seed Lorenzo Musetti of Italy defeated Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka 6-4, 6-1.
Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (5), 6-4, while Australian qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis took down China's Zhizhen Zhang 7-5, 6-4.
Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic outlasted Brandon Nakashima 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (2) in two hours and 47 minutes. It was a rematch of the championship match that Nakashima won at last year's Next Gen ATP Finals in Italy.
Other winners included Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo, Italy's Matteo Berrettini and Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
No. 12 seed Tommy Paul of the U.S. also won his match, beating Argentine qualifier Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. Italy's Matteo Arnaldi and Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic also prevailed in their matches.
Rain in Toronto on Monday morning delayed the start of the tournament until just after noon.
—Field Level Media