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3 unforgettable Rafa moments on Canadian soil

Aug 11, 2018
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada
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The top seed at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank, has had no shortage of history-making moment over the course of his 17-year career. With 11 appearances at the Canadian ATP Masters 1000 stop, the Spanish world No. 1 has given fans plenty to cheer for.

3. First taste of Canada

Rafael Nadal’s maiden Rogers Cup championship came in Montreal back in 2005, after the No. 1 seed made an impressive run to the final, dropping just one set over the course of the week heading into the final.

There, he met American Andre Agassi. The spainard produced a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win to capture the tenth title of his career, and first ever on hard court.

2. Rafael rolls with the wins

A dominant summer for Rafael Nadal continued onto the hard courts of Canada, as a then-22-year-old Nadal hoisted his second Rogers Cup trophy while also extending a 29-match win streak.

On route to the final, Nadal dashed the dreams of Canadian Jesse Levine in the second round, and even met a young Andy Murray in the semis before booking his spot in his third hard court final of the year.

It took just 90 minutes to dismantle German Kiefer, and the victory catalyzed his ascent to World No. 1, which he would achieve the following week in Cincinnati.

1. 2013’s Rafa-Nole classic

‘La belle province’ played host to another of Rafa’s magical moments in 2013 and a definite contender for ATP match of the year. A quarter-final win over Marinko Matosevic set up an epic semifinal showdown against No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic.

After losing the first set, Nole refused to go down without a fight and forced a deciding third set tie break. It was Nadal who prevailed to earn the spot in the final, and continued on to defeat Canadian Milos Raonic and hoist his third Rogers Cup trophy.

BONUS: Another unforgettable moment came in 2017, when a Canadian rising star by the name of  Denis Shapovalov rocked the tennis world by upsetting Nadal in the third round.

The shock heard all the way around the tennis world, put young Shapo on the map, and while it may not have been Nadal’s most positive experience on Canadian soil – he admitted this year that the loss was his strongest memory of playing in Canada.