ATP Rogers Cup: Rafael Nadal edges past top seed Novak Djokovic in Montreal semi-final
Rafael Nadal is through to his 10th final of the season, after beating top seed Novak Djokovic at the Montreal Masters.
Last Updated: 11/08/13 10:13pm
The 12-time Grand Slam champion won a typically heavyweight encounter, clinching a 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7/2) victory in two hours and 31 minutes.
Nadal got off to a flying start by breaking serve in the opening game of the match and added a second to lead 5-2.
His Serbian opponent made the only break of the second set in game eight before the two players went the distance in the decider.
The only break point opportunities in the final set belonged to Nadal who failed to capitalise when he was 40-15 up on Djokovic's serve in game eight.
But the 27-year-old Mallorcan made no mistake in the tie-break as he raced into a 6-0 lead before securing his spot in the final on his third match point.
Djokovic did not help his cause by making seven double faults, to just one by his opponent.
A delighted Nadal said: "I knew when I arrived after one month off, when you play in a Masters 1000, hard court, a fast surface, you can go out in the first round.
"I played to a very high level. I made the right decisions in the important moments. We push each other to the limit of our tennis.
"Beating the best player in the world, here, is a big result for me. The only chance to win against Novak, I have to play aggressive."
Djokovic added: "I made a lot of unforced errors when I had chances. A lot of easy forehands that I missed.
"You can't afford that when you're playing against Rafa. You know he doesn't give you many chances."
The No 4 seeded Spaniard will face Milos Raonic in Sunday's final.
Raonic became the first home player to reach the final since 1958 with a 6-4 1-6 7-6 (7/4) triumph over compatriot Vasek Pospisil - another closely fought match.
Nadal will be bidding for his third Canadian title following triumphs in 2005 and 2008.
He has beaten Raonic in all three of their matches to date, including two on hard court.