Canada Flashback: Rafael Nadal wins third title against Milos Raonic

Rafael Nadal wins third title against Milos Raonic

Rafael Nadal only played 48 games in 2012 and missed the second part due to a left knee injury. The Spaniard returned motivated to get back on top in 2013 and delivered one of his best performances of his career. Rafa claimed ten ATP titles from 14 finals and ended the season as the year-end number one.

1 for the first time since 2010. Nadal missed the Australian Open and started his campaign on clay. He conquered Sao Paulo, Acapulco, Indian Wells, Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros before surprisingly losing in straight sets to Steve Darcis in the Wimbledon opening round.

It was hard court time and Montreal, Rafa’s second ATP hard court event after Miami 2012. The Spaniard picked up where he left off at Indian Wells, claiming his eighth title of the season and fourth at Masters 1000 level !

Rafa lost just two games to Jesse Levine in the second round for a promising start. He fought past Jerzy Janowicz in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals, toppling Marinko Matosevic to move into the last four. Nadal faced an ultimate challenge in Novak Djokovic and two major rivals made it a memorable one.

Rafa toppled world No. 1. 1 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 in two hours and 29 minutes to advance to the finals for the first time in five years. On August 11, Nadal defeated home favorite Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-2 in 68 minutes for the 25th Masters 1000 crown, dominating from start to finish to lift the trophy.

It was the first final of this level for the 22-year-old Canadian, who spent more than four and a half hours on the court in the previous two days and had nothing left in the tank for such a strong rival. Facing each other for the fourth time, Nadal claimed the fourth straight win, dropping seven points behind the initial shot and fending off all three break points.

The pressure was on Raonic and he couldn’t take it after only serving 50%. With no free points in his arsenal, Milos stood powerless against Rafa in front of the home crowd, settling for the runner-up prize. The Spaniard had a massive advantage in the longer rallies, overpowering the opponent in the shortest ones to seal the deal in style.

Rafael Nadal claimed his fourth Masters 1000 title of 2013 in Montreal.

Rafa never made a mistake in the final. He stole almost half of the return points and converted all four break chances to control the scoreboard and march towards the finish line in the blink of an eye.

Raonic barely met a winner while Nadal stayed away from unforced errors, following through with his punches and taming his rival’s initial shot to gain the decisive advantage. Milos held at 15 on a serve of 237 km/h in the first game and was hoping for more for the rest of the encounter.

Nadal held with an ace in the second game and took a break chance in the next when Raonic sent a long forehand. The Spaniard confirmed the advantage with another comfortable grab that put him 3-1 up. He took five straight points on the return in the next to force Milos volley errors and extend the lead after just over 20 minutes.

A hold at love delivered another easy game for Rafa and he sealed the opener with three service winners at 5-2 in 32 minutes. Raonic failed to pass Nadal with the first shot, hitting a double fault early in the second set to find a set and a collapse.

Rafa fired a service winner to open a 2-0 gap and get closer to the finish line. The Canadian finally gave his crowd something to cheer after creating three break points in game four that could have put him back in contention.

Rafa stayed calm and erased them before holding with an ace to bring the game home and secure an even more significant boost for himself. Raonic couldn’t do anything after those break chances and he sprayed a forehand error to suffer another break and put Nadal 5-2 ahead.

The Spaniard served in game eight for the title, stopping at 15 to celebrate the title and start a historic North American summer.

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