Rafael Nadal's record win keeps title defence alive at Rogers Cup
By Emma Thurston
Last Updated: 09/08/19 3:25pm
Rafael Nadal has created a new outright record for ATP Masters 1000 victories and remains in the hunt for back-to-back Rogers Cup titles.
The 2018 champion powered past Guido Pella 6-3 6-4 on Thursday to book a place in the quarter-finals and duly recorded his 379th Masters 1000 win.
The result means that the Spaniard has edged one ahead of Roger Federer in terms of Masters 1000 victories and he also owns the most Masters 1000 titles with 34.
The challenge for Nadal
The 33-year-old is trying to defend a hard-court title for the first time in his career and if he does that, would also become the first player to win two Masters 1000 titles this season.
In windy conditions, Nadal broke Pella on the Argentine's first service game and wrapped up the first set within three quarters of an hour.
Pella ensured that the second set was a greater contest, holding a 2-1 lead at one point, but the world No 2 remained focused and showed patience to secure the match on his fourth match point.
Fabio Fognini of Italy will be the man standing in Nadal's way in the quarter-finals after he pushed past Adrian Mannarino 6-2 7-5 in the Round of 16.
Despite being 11-4 down in the head-to-head tally against Nadal, the Italian won their most recent encounter in Monaco this year, 6-4 6-2
Karen Khachanov put birthday pleasantries aside on Thursday as he beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7 (7-5) 7-5 6-3 on the Canadian's 19th birthday.
Afterwards, Auger-Aliassime expressed a mixture of frustration and pride at how his hometown tournament had panned out.
The teenager finished the near three-hour match with 12 double faults and won just 45 per cent of points on his second serve.
The windy conditions were challenging for both players but that will be an area of concern and focus going forwards for the young player.
Quarter-finals - Order of Play on Centre Court
|Daniil Medvedev ||vs||Dominic Thiem |
|Karen Khachanov ||vs||Alexander Zverev |
|Rafael Nadal ||vs||Fabio Fognini |
|Gael Monfils ||vs||Roberto Bautista Agut |
Khachanov's quarter-final opponent will be Alexander Zverev who managed to overcome his own issues on serve on Thursday too.
The third seed, who put down 14 double faults of his own, still managed to turn the tables on the man who had beaten him two weeks ago - Nikoloz Basilashvili.
The German managed to save 13 of the 18 break points that he faced and had the fitness to go the distance as the match lasted two hours and 45 minutes.
If Zverev does prevail over Khachanov then it would be his first victory over a Top 10 player this year.
The runner-up in Washington last week, Daniil Medvedev has continued on the same path in Montreal and has duly created a last-eight meeting with Dominic Thiem.
Medvedev's 6-3 6-3 triumphed over Cristian Garin while Thiem maintained his own winning-run with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 victory over Marin Cilic.
The final quarter-final on Friday will see Gael Monfils and Roberto Bautista Agut step out onto Centre Court.
A victory for Bautista Agut would put himself in a good position to break into the Top 10 when the new rankings are announced on Monday while Monfils leads the head-to-head tally between the duo by 3-1.
In the doubles draw, Bob Bryan joined his brother Mike as the only individuals to have won 1,100 tour-level doubles matches.
Bob reached that milestone moment when the family pairing secured a place in the quarter-finals after a 7-5 7-6 (8-6) win over Austin Krajcek and Michael Venus. The brothers will encounter Robin Haase and Wesley Koolhof in the last-eight.
Joe Salisbury and his American partner Rajeev Ram also continue on with their campaign but needed eight match points to finally beat the fifth seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 6-3 7-6 (8-6).
Next for them will be an encounter with the pair that knocked out Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopez, the French Open finalists Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin.
Elsewhere in the doubles draw, Kyle Edmund and his partner Taylor Fritz lost out to Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov 6-3 6-4.