Rafael Nadal, a three-time winner of the Canada Masters, beat Stan Wawrinka in two hours and eight minutes to move to the quarterfinals in Toronto 2018. Rafa won his 20th match against Stan, defeating him for the 17th time, and moved on to his 86th Masters 1000 quarterfinal.
Nadal had to fight hard to secure his 37th victory out of 40 games that year. After falling behind 5-3 in the second set, the Spaniard made a comeback to win the match in straight sets and conserve his energies. From the start, the conflict was in the open.
Wawrinka finished the match with a 32-29 ratio to Nadal‘s 25-23, giving him a fight for his money. Both the shortest and mid-range points belonged to the Spaniard, who had a little lead. Even still, if Stan had prevailed on his serve in the eleventh game of that second set, it would not have been unwarranted.
Wawrinka gave his all in a previous encounter against Marton Fucsovics, saving match points while competing at the top of his game. For the first time since their battle in the Roland Garros final one year prior, Rafa held the first game at love with a forehand winner and generated two break points in the second.
Stan battled with Nadal in the following six games to tie the match at 4-4 after a service winner in game eight. Stan salvaged them with victories to prevent the setback.
In Toronto 2018, Rafael Nadal defeated Stan Wawrinka despite falling behind 5-3 in the second set.
In game nine, Stan’s forehand down the line winner led to three break opportunities, which presented Rafa with his first issue.
In game 10, the Spaniard earned two set points on the return and largely saved them as a result of Stan’s errors. The Swiss made a crucial hold by saving both with service winners, and Nadal maintained his composure to hold at 15 in game 11 following a drop shot victory.
Wawrinka found his flow when serving to stay in the set once they resumed play after the rain stopped play for more than 40 minutes. But after a laborious 69 minutes, he missed two game points, and Nadal managed to break him and win the first set 7-5.
With this momentum behind him, Rafa broke to start the second set in game two as Stan’s backhand went wide. But the Swiss managed to break back and maintain a lead in the following game by finding his backhand. When Nadal‘s forehand landed long in game five, Wawrinka broke once more and served for the set with a score of 5-4.
Nadal, who was the favorite in the tie break, earned a break with a forehand down the line. Up to 3-3, the score was tied. After two solid points behind the opening stroke, the Spaniard took a mini-break in the seventh point and increased his lead to 6-3.
Before Rafa sealed the deal with a forehand return winner to win the tiebreaker 7-4 and advance to the round of eight, Stan saved the first match point.