MONTREAL: Fourth-seed Rafael Nadal needed just 68 minutes to deliver a body blow to Canada’s biggest tennis week, routing Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-2 to capture the ATP Montreal Masters.
The Spaniard then made it clear that he is planning to carry on next week to the final major tune-up prior to the US Open, the combined ATP-WTA Cincinnati event.
“We’ll see tomorrow [yesterday], but I’m fine,” said Nadal who made quick work of Raonic, who now becomes the first Canadian to be ranked in the top 10 on the ATP Tour.
“I was able to recover well, I felt good physically today [Sunday].” Now Nadal feels ready to go for another title in Cincinnati which began yesterday, giving no indication that his chronic knee problems are a current worry.
He says his focus is now on Montreal and he will not be thinking ahead to the August 26 start of the US Open in New York. “The victories and the loses don’t affect the way I prepare or the way I work for things. When I will be in New York, I will work on thinking about the US Open.” Meanwhile, Raonic fell short in his bid to become the first Canadian to win the title since 1958. “Rafa really gave me a clinic today,” said a deflated Raonic, who has broken new ground all week in the sport for Canada. “This was the most important moment of my career so far.” Nadal moved back to third place on the ATP world rankings yesterday while Raonic vaulted into number 10.
Serena races to eighth title of year in Toronto
World number one Serena Williams made it look easy, routing Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-0 to win the WTA title in Toronto and signal her readiness for a US Open title bid. Williams needed just 61 minutes to capture her eighth title of 2013 and the 54th of her career, which moved her past Monica Seles into sole possession of ninth on the WTA career list in the Open Era.
But she said the lopsided win belied the difficulty of winning any title. “No tournament is ever easy, especially being in the position I am in,” said Williams. “The tournament starts and they expect you to win. But who knows if I’ll even make it to the semi-finals? It’s a lot of pressure and it’s not easy.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2013.
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