WATCH: Tommy Paul speaks with Tennis Channel following his 2022 Montreal second round match


For about one week every August, Montreal becomes synonymous with tennis, as the National Bank Open presented by Rogers brings the best ATP and WTA players to the 1000-level event.

But for the rest of the year, there’s one sport that dominates the Canadian conversation: hockey.

No. 4 seed Casper Ruud got to experience it for himself in Montreal, as he joined No. 8 Hubert Hurkacz, Tommy Paul, Alex Molcan, Emil Ruusuvuori, and more for the tournament’s annual “ball hockey” game.

“ATP vs NHL. Our surface. Their sport,” wrote Ruud on Instagram over the weekend.

The Norwegian—who was rubbing elbows with country music legend Shania Twain recently, as she presented him with his trophy in Gstaad—was part of the team that took on hockey stars Jonathan Huberdeau, Zachary L’Heureux, Marc-Edouard Classic, Jonathan Drouin and Melodie Daoust in the fun exhibition.

“It was a lot of fun,” Hurkacz told Calgary Flames star Huberdeau, according to “What you guys are doing, it’s a joke. It’s so hard. I’m just struggling to follow somehow the ball… It's really amazing.”


"I think these guys are just athletes and they're talented in every sport, you can tell," Huberdeau replied. "I'm a big tennis fan. It's the same thing when you guys play, I think it's impressive."

Back on their home turf, Hurkacz and Ruud kept the momentum going, as they kicked off their campaigns at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament with victories—taking down their hockey teammates along the way.

On Tuesday, Hurkacz fired 16 aces past Ruusuvuori in his 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-2 opening match, and a day later, the No. 4 seed Ruud edged past Molcan 7-6 (3), 6-3.