RAFAEL NADAL has extended his Masters 1000 titles record with a win in Montreal on Sunday.
He beat Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-0 in windy conditions at the Coupe Rogers in Montreal to take his 35th Masters 1000 title, Medvedev had promised not to be intimidated in his first Masters 1000 final, but despite some strong rallies he was simply blown away by the Spaniard in his 51st Masters 100 final.
It has to be said that Nadal had a stroke of luck in that he was fully rested as his semi-final was a no contest after opponent Gaël Monfils had to withdraw with an ankle injury.
Nadal said: “He played a great game, some very long rallies. For me, personally, it was important to start the match in good shape. He came to that match playing so well, playing a lot of matches [in recent] weeks. For me, it was a different story. I only played three matches on hard before this one.”
“I think I played a good first game, too. He had a break point. I played well. I saved that game. After that I think I played a solid match, my best match of the week so far without a doubt.”
He may have faced a break point, but Nadal saved it and that was his opponent’s only opportunity of the match.
Medvedev said: “My tactic was to not give him that much time, to try to play deep, to not give him easy shots. It was kind of working in the beginning of the match, but then I completely lost the momentum. It was only him controlling the play, controlling the game.”
Nadal said: “I did a lot of things well: changing directions, changing rhythms during the point. The slice worked well this afternoon. I played some high balls, then changed down the line. I think I played smart this afternoon.”
This was Nadal’s third tour title of the year after Rome and Roland Garros but perhaps surprisingly the first time he has successfully defended a hard court title.
It was his fifth Canadian Masters 1000 crown (2005, 2008, 2013, 2018). The only set he has ever dropped at a Canadian Masters final was against Andre Agassi during Nadal’s 2005 win.