After an extended sand campaign and a tough loss by Roland Garros to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, Rafael Nadal felt he needed more time to rest before his next matches.
The 20-time major winner chose to skip Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, stay home in Mallorca and prepare for North American hard court swing. Rafa will return to Washington in the first week of August and compete at the Canadian Open a week later, where he will attempt to win his third straight title at the event.
Nadal was the player to beat in Toronto and Montreal in 2018 and 2019 and was hoping for another strong run in a month. In 2010, Nadal lost to Andy Murray in the semi-finals in Toronto, and he did not play in that city until 2018.
Nadal celebrated a strong comeback as world No. 1 and secured his 33rd Masters 1000 crown and his 80th ATP title after a 6-2, 7-6 victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. The young Greek entered the title fight by defeating top 10 rivals and became the youngest player to achieve so many consecutive victories against the exclusive group.
Rafael Nadal will try to defend his title in August in Toronto
Tsitsipas did his best in the second set against Nadal, recovering from a break and scoring a set point on his return in Game 12.
Rafa lost ground in the final leg of the game despite a beadless performance and won 5–4 before winning when Tsitsipas broke again to advance the encounter and nearly sent him into the third set.
In the end, the Spaniard survived the 12th game and got a tiebreak 7:4 to secure his 19th ATP title on hard courts and the first since the US Open 2018. Rafa can’t wait to hit Toronto again, praising the event and hoping to win a third straight Canada Open crown.
“I’m very excited to go back to Canada and play in Toronto. It’s a great tournament and I’ve played some really good games there. In fact, the last time we played I won there and I would love to do it Defend my title this August and be back with my fans in Canada and around the world,” said Rafael Nadal.