My Masters 1000: Daniel Nestor
Canada's Daniel Nestor has played his home ATP World Tour event a staggering 29 straight times, having made his debut in 1989. He boasts the honour of having won every ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event, although never in Montreal.
Less than a month shy of his 45th birthday, Nestor feels he has unfinished business as he has his sights set on clinching the Coupe Rogers in Montreal. He holds a 45-26 tournament record with 12 different partners, winning Toronto titles in 2000 with countryman Sebastien Lareau and 2008 with Serbia's Nenad Zimonjic.
What do you remember about your Masters 1000 debut here (in Montreal) in 1989?
I remember two things – playing a close doubles match on Centre Court and just knowing that if I would’ve won my singles match I would have played against John McEnroe. That was enough to freak me out.
What were those feelings like?
It was my first big tournament, I got a wild card. All I was thinking about was the possibility of playing John McEnroe and I was playing a guy who was way better than me before that and the match wasn’t that long so it was funny I was thinking it.
What’s your favourite thing about this tournament?
I mean there’s so many things – the city, the hotel, the courts, the fans, there’s so many great things about this event that make it special.
What makes the Masters 1000s special?
Great venues, beautiful cities, the fact all the top guys are playing, the treatment we get. The fact that the fields are so strong makes it special and the fans that follow it for sure make it a great event.
What does it mean to have won all the Masters 1000 tournaments?
Obviously it’s a good feeling. I remember winning in Paris maybe five or six years ago and finally having all nine. I’ve been playing for a long time and I’m fortunate to have some great partners so I feel very appreciative to have these experiences and to be able to win these events.
Out of all those, is there one that stands out as particularly special?
Toronto, I think. Yeah being at home and being able to win on home soil is special.
If you could win only one more for the rest of your career …
For sure Montreal would be my choice if I had to win one more trophy, just because I haven’t won it. I’ve had success here but not winning.
What is the greatest match you’ve seen in a Masters 1000, singles or doubles?
There’s been so many epic Federer and Nadal matches, thinking Rome or one of those where you had to play five sets.
Which Masters 1000 host city is your favourite and why?
I mean Indian Wells is tough to beat. It’s such a great venue, it’s such a beautiful place. You get a lot of Canadian support there with a lot of fans coming down, usually from Western Canada. It doesn’t even matter, it just feels like every court, every match is well supported. People are excited about tennis and the venue. My family is there and there’s so many great things about that event.
What's your favourite Masters 1000 court to play on and why?
I enjoy playing in Madrid. I like those conditions of a fast clay court with altitude. I like playing here but sometimes it can be really hot, like the last time we played a final here two years ago, I mean, I struggled with the heat so yeah that could be my toughest match, two years ago trying to win the final, trying to fight through the tough conditions. I’m going to say Indian Wells or Madrid – Indian Wells for the tournament, or Madrid, for the conditions.