MONTREAL — There's a blank space in the nationality column beside Daniil Medvedev's name on the drawsheet at the National Bank Open.

The Russian flag is also missing from the Moscow native's bio on the ATP Tour website.

It's simply the new normal for the world No. 1 and his compatriots, who had to skip Wimbledon last month because of the Grand Slam tournament's ban on players from Russia and Belarus over the war in Ukraine.

Both the ATP Tour and WTA Tour have allowed players from the two countries to play at events this season -- including this week in Montreal and Toronto -- but under a neutral flag.

"I really enjoy my job," Medvedev said in a media availability at IGA Stadium. "It's about following the rules. The rule at one point was very clear that we have to play under (a) neutral flag. Me, I'm still Daniil Medvedev.

"I still want to win big titles, win big matches or small matches. It doesn't change."

Fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev joined him in the singles field this week along with fellow Russians Karen Khachanov and Aslan Karatsev.

The women's National Bank Open singles draw in Toronto included sixth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus along with 11th-seeded Daria Kasatkina and Veronika Kudermetova, both from Russia.

Medvedev, who's about to enter his third straight month as world No. 1, said he tried to make the best of his unusual summer schedule.

"(I) made a very good preparation block for the U.S. Open Series, which normally you cannot do because you play Wimbledon," he said. "I was able to do it. (I'm) feeling 100 per cent and physically, mentally ready."

Russia also was held out of the Billie Jean King Cup and Davis Cup team events. The upcoming U.S. Open in New York, like the French Open last spring, will allow players from Russia and Belarus to compete.

Medvedev, the defending National Bank Open champion, is coming off a victory at last week's event in Mexico.

He has a first-round bye this week and will likely play his opening match on Wednesday. Play continues through Sunday at the US$6.57-million Masters 1000 tournament.

With files from The Associated Press.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2022.

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