Nadal Wins 35th Masters 1000; Murray Confirms Singles Return
An unstoppable Rafael Nadal swept past an in-form Daniil Medvedev 6-3 6-0 to win his 5thRogers Cup title and his 35th Masters 1000 tournament on Sunday to make his first ever successful defence of a tournament not held on a clay court. Many were expecting a tougher test from Medvedev, who coming into his first Masters 1000 final, had not dropped a set at the tournament. However, after a tricky opening game which saw Nadal stave off a break point, the match ceased to be a contest, with Nadal punishing any slight drop in length or power from his opponent.
“He was playing very well during the whole week. So for me, it was important in the beginning that he doesn’t take advantage, because finals are always a little bit more difficult for everyone. I’ve played a lot of these. I know beginnings can be tricky, especially against a great player like him but especially when a player like him is playing with a lot of confidence like he was playing during the whole week,” said Nadal in his post-match interview.
This victory also saw Nadal take a major step towards regaining his World Number One ranking, as he overtook 1st placed Djokovic in the Race to London, which tallies up points collected from the start of the year. Although Djokovic is more than 4,000 points clear of Nadal in the official rankings, he has a huge amount of points to defend between now and the end of the year, while Nadal is under less pressure having missed some tournaments after the US Open last year.
For British tennis fans, the long-awaited news of Andy Murray’s return to singles came through this week, as it was announced that the 3-time Grand Slam champion and former World Number One had taken a wildcard for the Cincinnati Masters. Murray will not have an easy opening match and will face Richard Gasquet in his first singles match since the Australian Open. Even if Murray can beat Gasquet, who is also on a comeback trail from an injury, he will have to face French Open finalist Dominic Thiem in Round 2. However, no matter how far Murray does or doesn’t get at a tournament he has won twice before, just playing singles after such an invasive operation has to be considered a success.
Written by Emre Saridogan