Rafael Nadal sees off Novak Djokovic in Montreal
Rafael Nadal held off Novak Djokovic in three tense sets on Saturday and will now try and stop Canadian Milos Raonic from making more tennis history at the Montreal Masters.
Fourth seed Nadal, champion in the event in 2005 and 2008, defeated top seed and two-time defending champion Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2) to reach his 10th final of the season.
Raonic, meanwhile, became the first Canadian into the tournament’s final since 1958, when Robert Bedard won it. Raonic booked his place with a 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7/4) victory over compatriot Vasek Pospisil, and with the win ensured he’ll be the first Canadian ever to reach the top 10 in the ATP world rankings.
Raonic will have his work cut out against Nadal. The Spaniard has won all three of their prior encounters, including two on hardcourts.
Nadal’s two-hour, 20-minute struggle with Djokovic was a tight affair, with small margins determining victory. Nadal dominated the third-set tiebreaker, taking a 6-0 lead. Djokovic saved two match points before falling.
Serena in final
World No 1 Serena Williams defeated Agnieszka Radwanska 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 on Saturday to reach the WTA Toronto final, where she will face giant-killer Sorana Cirstea.
Williams maintained her perfect record over Radwanska, her six wins over the world number four from Poland including a triumph in the 2012 Wimbledon final and, more recently, in the semi-finals at Miami this year. Williams next faces unseeded Romanian Cirstea, who toppled fourth-seeded Li Na of China 6-1, 7-6 (7/5).
The victory over 2011 French Open champion Li continued a dream run for 27th-ranked Cirstea in the USD 2.4 million hardcourt tournament. She also beat former World No ones Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic, as well as defending champion Petra Kvitova, en route to the final.
“Gosh, she hits really hard,” Williams said of Cirstea. “She has a really big serve. She moves well, she's definitely not an easy player to play.”
The number of titles tennis legend Rafael Nadal has won this season