Only 48 matches were played by Rafael Nadal in 2012, and a left knee ailment kept him out of the second half. In 2013, the Spaniard returned with the desire to win again and put on one of his best performances. Rafa won ten ATP titles out of 14 finals, and he ended the year as the year’s top player.
first time since 2010 that number one. Nadal began his campaign on clay after skipping the Australian Open. He won titles in Sao Paulo, Acapulco, Indian Wells, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, and Roland Garros before suffering an unexpected defeat to Steve Darcis in the Wimbledon first round in straight sets.
It was time for Montreal, Rafa’s second ATP hard-court competition following Miami 2012. The Spaniard picked up where he left off in Indian Wells and won the eighth championship of the year and the fourth Masters 1000 trophy!
In the second round against Jesse Levine, Rafa had a great start, dropping just two games. In two sets, he defeated Jerzy Janowicz to get to the quarterfinals, then he defeated Marinko Matosevic to advance to the last four. In Novak Djokovic, Nadal faced the greatest challenge of his career, and two fierce adversaries made it memorable.
In two hours and 29 minutes, Rafa defeated the world no. 1 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 to enter the final for the first time in five years. On August 11, Nadal won the 25th Masters 1000 championship by defeating hometown favorite Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-2 in 68 minutes. Nadal dominated the match from start to finish.
The 22-year-old Canadian, who had played on the court for more than four and a half hours over the previous two days, was playing in his first final at this level and was completely out of gas against such a formidable foe. In their fourth meeting, Nadal prevailed in straight sets, slipping seven points behind the opening shot and surviving all three break points.
Raonic was under pressure, and he was unable to handle it after serving at barely 50%. Milos was helpless against Rafa in front of the home crowd since he lacked any free points, therefore he accepted second place. In the longer rallies, the Spaniard held a significant lead and easily defeated the rival in the shorter ones to secure the victory.
In Montreal, Rafael Nadal won the fourth Masters 1000 championship of the year.
Rafa never misplaced a foot during the championship. To quickly take control of the scoreboard and get to the finish line, he stole nearly half of the return points and scored on all four break opportunities.
While Nadal avoided unforced errors, imposed his strokes, and subdued his opponent’s opening shot to secure the key edge, Raonic scarcely made any winners. Milos served at a speed of 237 km/h to hold at 15 in the opening game and hope for more in the remaining games.
In game two, Nadal won with an ace, and in game three, Raonic blasted a forehand long, giving Nadal the chance to break. With another easy hold, the Spaniard made sure of the advantage and went up 3-1. After just over 20 minutes, he scored five straight points on the return in the following game to expand the lead and force Milos’ volley error.
Rafa won another easy game thanks to a hold at love, and in 32 minutes, he completed the opening with three service aces at 5-2. Raonic committed a double fault at the start of the second set, failing to overtake Nadal with the opening shot, leaving him down a set and a break.
Rafa opened a 2-0 lead and advanced toward the finish line with a service winner. After generating three break points in the fourth game that may have put him back in the mix, the Canadian finally gave his supporters something to cheer about.
Rafa maintained his composure and eliminated them before holding with an ace to finish the game and establish an even greater advantage. After those break chances, Raonic was helpless and sprayed a forehand error, which caused him to lose another break and put Nadal 5-2 ahead.
To celebrate the victory and begin a historic North American summer, the Spaniard held at 15 in game eight while serving for the championship.