Rafa In Red Routs Paire To Start Rogers Cup Campaign
09 August 2018 01:27
Rafa in red? Just as good as Rafa in every colour. The No. 1 player in the ATP Rankings was in complete control on Wednesday night during his North American hard-court summer season debut, beating Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-3 at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
The Spaniard broke six times, and although he struggled on serve in the second set, losing his serve three times, the outcome was never in doubt as Nadal improved to 4-0 against Paire in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. Even the new 25-second shot clock didn't seem to bother Nadal, who was playing with the innovation for the first time.
The Spaniard feasted on Paire's second serve, winning 80 per cent of the points (28/35) and put on a show for the fans on Centre Court, who hadn't seen him in Toronto since 2010 and haven't seen him hoist a trophy there since 2008. (Nadal has won three Rogers Cup titles – 2005, 2008 and 2013 – but his 2005 and 2013 titles came when the event was played at Montreal).
Nadal would pound Paire's backhand with heavy forehand after heavy forehand, only to eventually drop shot short to the other side. During one exchange, at 4-2 in the first set, Paire could only throw his racquet as he watched Nadal's volley float past him.
The 32-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 champion was playing for the first time since he fell in the Wimbledon semi-finals to eventual champion Novak Djokovic. The Spaniard, who improved to 36-3 on the year, is going for his fifth title of the season. He nearly swept the European clay-court swing, winning his 11th Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Roland Garros titles.
But this week's Masters 1000 tournament in Canada is only his second hard-court event of the season. Nadal fell in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open (ret. vs. Cilic).
Nadal will next face Marton Fucsovics of Hungary or Swiss Stan Wawrinka. . read full article