Rafael Nadal topples birthday boy Stefanos Tsitsipas in Toronto final
Rafael Nadal ended the red-hot run of Greek upstart Stefanos Tsitsipas with a 6-2 7-6(4) win on Sunday that gave the Spanish top seed his fourth Rogers Cup championship.
Tsitsipas, who was contending the Masters 1000 title on his 20th birthday after four consecutive wins over top-10 players in Toronto, threw all he had at Nadal but was ultimately unable to beat the world number one.
The Athens native did well to serve out at love in the first game but Nadal took over as he broke back in each of his next two chances before sealing the opening set in 34 minutes when Tsitsipas sent a routine forehand into the net.
Nadal, much to the dismay of the many flag-waving Greek supporters in attendance, denied a spirited challenge from the world number 27 in the second set to clinch a record-extending 33rd Masters 1000 title and first since Cincinnati in 2013.
Tsitsipas earned his first break of the match in the 10th game of the second set and then held serve to pull within one game of levelling the contest but Nadal, who had looked out of sorts for a short spell, found his way out of the jam.
The win made the 32-year-old Spaniard, who also won the Rogers Cup in 2005, 2008 and 2013, the fourth player in the Open Era to win 80 titles, joining a club that includes Jimmy Connors (109), Roger Federer (98) and Ivan Lendl (94). (Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Clare Fallon)