Rafael Nadal, seed number four, confirmed his good form on hard courts of Montreal this week by overcoming reigning champion Novak Djokovic in one of their many blockbuster duels. The match had a turbulent start with Djokovic immediately suffering a loss of serve and Rafa returning from 0-40 to confirm the break. The Spaniard then went two breaks up by 5-2, but could only serve out the opener in second attempt. The top seed managed to keep his nose in front in the set number two, but Nadal was also holding confidently until his rival capitalized on the first break point opportunity of the set to make it 5-3. Rafa missed his chance to peg back which resulted in him dropping his first set at this year’s Coupe Rogers. The decider went with serve and it was getting obvious the dramatic clash would ultimately culminate in a third-set tie-break. The king of clay was in his own world in the beginning of the thirteenth game and raced to a 6-0 lead before turning in the match point number three after two hours and a half of tennis on Center court. He won 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2) and will attempt to grab his fourth Masters 1000 trophy of the year as well as the third Canadian Masters title on Sunday.
In a historic semi-final encounter in Montreal eleventh-seeded Milos Raonic squeezed passed fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil, ranked 71st. Both competitors were creating break points in the opener, but only one of them was converted and it was Raonic who went one nil up in the end. Pospisil was not discouraged by the first set defeat by any means as he was bossing his compatriot around in the set number two and squared things up after acquiring a double break advantage. The serves remained intact in the final set and this clash too would be decided in a tie-break with the Canadian no. 1 closing it out with the first match point, thus reaching his debut ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final. End score: 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4) after two hours and sixteen minutes.
Raonic will become the first Canadian ever to enter the Top 10 of men’s professional tennis thanks to his successful week in Montreal. He admitted it was one of the goals he set out this year: “For me it’s a very special day to at least get to a goal I set for myself earlier this year, which looked a little bit difficult after how I played recently. But to do it here in Montreal, it’s a relief and it’s a happy feeling.” He is yet to defeat Nadal as the latter triumphed in all three of their previous ATP meetings without surrendering a single set.