Rafael Nadal returns to Toronto and seeks third straight Canada Open crown

Following that tough Roland Garros semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic in over four hours, the 20-time Major winner Rafael Nadal decided to take some rest and recharge batteries ahead of his next tournaments. The Spaniard didn’t have enough time to recover for the grass season, skipping Wimbledon for the first time since 2016 and opting to skip the Olympic Games as well and spend more time at home in Mallorca. A few days ago, Rafa announced he would play at the Citi Open in Washington for the first time, joining a strong field of players and hoping to shape his form ahead of the season’s last Major in New York. A week after, Nadal will enter the Canada Open for the 14th time, seeking the sixth title and the third in a row after conquering Toronto and Montreal in 2018 and 2019.  Nadal will try to claim his 37th Masters 1000 crown and the second of the season after Rome, where he tied Novak Djokovic’s record.

At the moment, all the players from the top-35 are in the entry list automatically, and we should see who will show up at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers in Toronto next month. The Canada Open didn’t take place in 2020 due to the pandemic, and the last match at this event took place in August 2019 when Nadal toppled Daniil Medvedev in the final. The defending champion defeated the Russian 6-3, 6-0 in 70 minutes for his tenth Masters 1000 title on the hard court.

Rafael Nadal will compete in Washington and Toronto in back-to-back weeks.

Medvedev was a player to beat in the previous two weeks, playing on a very high level in Washington and in Montreal to advance into two finals, losing those to Nick Kyrgios and Nadal. Having a day off on Saturday, Rafa stepped on the court determined to give his best against the dangerous rival and claim the first title since Roland Garros, doing everything right and leaving Daniil far behind in the most one-sided final of this event since 1984!

Serving at 72%, Nadal lost only 11 points behind the initial shot, fended off a single break chance in the first game and never experienced troubles again. The pressure was on Daniil, and he couldn’t deal with it, losing half of the points in his games and getting broken four times from eight chances offered to Nadal. The Spaniard had 12 winners and 13 unforced errors, while the Russian counted to ten winners and 22 errors. Rafa had a clear advantage in the mid-range and the most extended exchanges, beating Medvedev in the shortest rallies as well to earn the triumph fair and square. Nadal saved that break point in the first game and broke at 2-1 after Medvedev’s double fault. Rafa delivered three comfortable holds to claim the opener 6-3 after a beautiful forehand down the line winner in the ninth game. The youngster had nothing left in the tank in set number two, suffering three breaks and allowing world no. 2 to seal the deal with a bagel in game six that delivered his fifth Canada Open crown.