Published: Mon, August 13, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Nadal downs birthday-boy Tsitsipas to win Toronto Masters

Nadal downs birthday-boy Tsitsipas to win Toronto Masters

Rafael Nadal beat Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 on Saturday to set up a final with birthday boy Stefano Tsitsipas at the Toronto Masters.

Tsitsipas, who was contesting the Masters 1000 final on his 20th birthday after four consecutive wins over top-10 players in Toronto, threw all he had at Nadal but was ultimately unable to beat the world number one.

Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts to winning the final point against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece (not shown) to win the Rogers Cup.

Tsitsipas broke and forced a second-set tiebreaker, where Nadal steadied the ship and elevated his game once again.

The Spanish top seed and world number one concluded victory with a forehand victor deep into the corner.

Despite his recent success Tsitsipas will be a big underdog when he takes on French Open champion Nadal, who will be seeking his 33rd career Masters 1000 title.

He will be playing his 116th ATP final and stands two wins away from 80 trophies.

Nadal, serving for the match at 5-4 and having dropped only three points on serve the entire match up to that point, suddenly looked tight as Tsitsipas broke him and then held serve to pull within one game of levelling the contest. "I try to play every match with the highest possible passion, it's a special feeling that I have on court".

Tsitsipas will next face Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson, who beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2.

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"Should be a nice trip actually and I am looking forward to it", Venus said.

"It's been nearly 10 years [2010] since I last played in Toronto", Nadal said of the event which comes to the city in even-number years as it trades with Montreal.

He double-faulted on his first match point at 6-4, mistakenly thinking it was 5-3.

"No one wants to keep watching you play when the [king] arrives", Kyrgios wrote in an Instagram post featuring the two men on adjacent courts.

With the win, Tsitsipas is projected to climb to at least number 15 when the new rankings are released on Monday.

"It's an awesome feeling to be able to talk again at this ceremony as a victor", Halep said.

Rafael Nadal shared a brilliant moment with a young fan that left him cracking up before the Rogers Cup final.

Some had waited as long as two hours to reserve prime spots just to watch Federer and Kyrgios practise ahead of their final tournament before the US Open later this month.

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