Canada Flashback: Teenager Rafael Nadal lifts trophy over Andre Agassi

Teenager Rafael Nadal lifts the trophy over Andre Agassi

Rafael Nadal was a teenager on a mission in 2005. The young Spaniard won 11 ATP titles for one of the most iconic seasons for those under 20. Nadal claimed his first Major title on his debut at Roland Garros after beating Roger Federer and Mariano Puerta.

In doing so, Rafa made history as the last teenager with a trophy at this level. Nadal saved even better tennis for the Masters 1000 series, reaching the final in Miami and finishing second to Roger Federer despite a massive advantage.

Rafa’s first Masters 1000 title came a few weeks later in Monte Carlo, followed by another in Rome after an epic title fight against Guillermo Coria. After Wimbledon, Rafa won two titles on clay and became world No. 1. 2 ahead of MontrĂ©al.

In Canada, the young Spaniard was the front runner in the absence of Roger Federer and was aiming for the first hard-court title. Rafa played at a high level, only getting broken once against Carlos Moya, Ricardo Mello, Sebastien Grosjean and Paul-Henri Mathieu to move into the fourth Masters 1000 final of the season.

He faced eight-time major champion Andre Agassi in the battle for the trophy. The youth tumbled the experience as Nadal delivered a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 triumph in an hour and 58 minutes to lift the third Masters 1000 trophy. Also, Rafa became the first teenager to win nine ATP titles in a single season since Mats Wilander in 1983!

Rafael Nadal ousted Andre Agassi in Montreal in 2005 to clinch the title.

Suffering just one break in set number two, the Spaniard started over in the decider to beat the crowd favorite with two breaks of serve.

The youngster was broken down once and secured three returns to control the pace and cross the finish line in style. They had a similar number of winners and forced errors. At the same time, despite a solid performance in sets one and two, Agassi made too many unforced errors to spoil his chances.

Rafa had a slight advantage in the extended rallies against one of the greatest baseline players of all time, scoring ten points more in the shortest range up to four strokes to forge the triumph. Andre was broken in the fourth game of the encounter to put the rivals 3-1 ahead before Rafa fended off a break point 4-2 to stay ahead.

The American saved a set point in game eight but it was all he could do. Nadal closed the opening set a few minutes later with a hold at 6-3 and a massive boost. Agassi upped his level in set number two, serving well to earn a late break at 5-4 when Nadal made a forehand error.

The American secured the set and forced a decisive set. Rafa started from the front, controlling the tempo in his games in the final set and keeping the pressure up on the other side. He earned back-to-back breaks that carried him across the finish line and towards his third Masters 1000 trophy right after he turned 19.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.