Flashback: Canada shines in 2013, and so does Rafa

Thursday, Jul 20

The 2013 Rogers Cup belonged to Rafael Nadal, who claimed his third crown on Canadian soil in as many finals.

Four years ago, many were surprised to see the Spaniard raise the trophy in Montreal. Despite the seven titles he racked up earlier in the season, Rafa had had an untimely first-round exit at Wimbledon and Rogers Cup was his first tournament since the stunning defeat.

Nadal, the tournament’s fourth seed,  overcame Jesse Levine, Jerzy Janowicz and Marinko Matosevic on his way to to securing a spot in the semi-finals. A major challenge was waiting for him in the next round, World No. 1 and three-time Rogers Cup champion Novak Djokovic. At the conclusion of their spectacular three-set contest, Nadal got the last word in the tiebreak, winning 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2).

The final pitted Rafa against Canadian sensation Milos Raonic. In the end, it took the King of Clay only 68 minutes to dispose of his rival by a score of 6-2, 6-2.

Despite the Spaniard’s win, it was Milos who had everyone talking. He became the first Canadian to play in a Rogers Cup final since Robert Bédard, who had done so 55 years earlier. The Canadian’s appearance in the final propelled him into the ATP Top 10 for the first time in his career, making him the youngest member of the elite group at just 22 years old.

When the homegrown talent stepped onto the court, the Montreal crowd welcomed him with a standing ovation. “That was one of the most special feelings I’ve had in my career to this date,” Raonic said. “I even got a little bit of goosebumps from that. I’m very, very grateful to have that memory and that experience here.”

In 2013, Raonic wasn’t the only one to make a mark in Canadian tennis history. In his semi-final match-up, Raonic went head-to-head against compatriot Vasek Pospisil in the first Canadian semi-final of an ATP Tour event since Andrew Sznajder took on Martin Wostenholme in Rio in 1990.

Pospisil and Raonic disputed a hard fought match, to the great delight of the Montreal fans. When their electrifying clash finally came to an end, Raonic had claimed the victory in three sets 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(4).

Will our Canadian players break new ground on the courts in Montreal this summer? Will Rafa keep building on his impressive 2017 season? Find out when the best players come to town from August 4 to 13!

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