The Spaniard won the 33rd Masters 1000 of his career, an all-time record. The Romanian confirms her status as number one.
Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep honored their world number one status at the Toronto and Montreal tournaments, each winning the final on Sunday (August 12th).
Nadal won his 33rd Masters 1000 in Toronto – an all-time record in this tournament category – and his fifth title of the season, putting an end to the Greek revelation Stefanos Tsitsipas in two sets 6-2, 7-6 ( 7/4) and 1 hour 42 minutes. “If I had been told that I would win two weeks ago, I would not have believed it,” responded Nadal, eliminated in July by Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of Wimbledon. “It’s the best way to start the season hard. Winning in Toronto is so important. We do not win 1000 Masters so often. This is a very important win for me and I am very happy, “added the Spaniard, who now has four titles on the Canadian court after his successes in 2005, 2008 and 2013.
His opponent of the day, who has not stopped impressing successively Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Kevin Anderson, however, is not unworthy.
Exceeded in the first set by the Spaniard’s lift and at the edge of the chasm in the second, while Nadal was serving for the match at 5-4, Tsitsipas almost reversed the situation, as he had already faced Zverev and Anderson.
The young Greek, who was celebrating his 20th birthday this Sunday, has resurfaced by closing the gap, then getting a set ball on the service of the Spaniard, well saved by Nadal.
“Rafa” had his experience in the decisive game, being more realistic than the Athenian, who was playing his first Masters 1000 final and will be 15th in the world on Monday.
“Rafa’s patience is incredible,” said Tsitsipas, who suffered a much heavier loss (6-2, 6-1) to the Spaniard in the final of the Barcelona tournament in April. He never breaks. He catches you like a bulldog and always makes you suffer on the court. What he has achieved as a player is extraordinary. That’s how you feel when you play against him. I have to work a lot more and hope to one day reach his level. ”
A “brutal effort” for Halep
On the women’s side in Montreal, Sloane Stephens failed to take revenge on Simona Halep, who beat her in the Roland-Garros final in June, losing 7-6 (8/6), 3 -6, 6-4.
In a match of a rare physical intensity, in which the two players exchanged their services on fifteen occasions, Halep finally won the baseline battle after a 2 hours 41 minutes fight concluded by a ace on his fourth match point. “This week has been very intense for me,” admitted the 26-year-old Romanian, who has already won in Quebec in 2016. “It was a brutal effort. It was really difficult. “[Stephens] makes me play better and better every time I play it, it’s great for me,” added Halep, who now leads seven to two in his confrontations with the American. “She is a very strong player and a game of great complexity. She has all the tennis shots. ”
The Romanian probably thought to have done the hardest in the first run by leading 4-1 double break, then 5-4 service to follow.
It was counting without the fighting spirit of his American opponent, who made up for the delay, even getting two set balls, then offered himself a tie-break, which Halep dominated not without difficulty, after saving two new balls from set.
More aggressive, Stephens, defending champion at the US Open, took the lead early in the second run and resisted the return of the Romanian to equalize a set everywhere.
Obviously suffering from an embarrassment to the left foot, Halep however left the front by breaking twice the American in the deciding game, but spoiled three match points and left a catchy Stephens back to 5-4.
Halep finally had a pretty strong nerves on his fourth match point, scoring his third game ace, synonymous with victory.
The Roumanian wins the 18th title of her career in Montreal, the third this season after her successes in Shenzen and Roland-Garros.