Rafael Nadal confident he can win Rogers Cup title after strong semi-final display

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Final awaits: Rafael Nadal

World number one Rafael Nadal eased past Russia’s Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7/3) 6-4 to reach the final of the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

Pursuing his fourth tournament title, the Spaniard saw off his unseeded opponent in one hour and 49 minutes under lights after rain delayed play.

Firing off six aces over the match, Khachanov got off to a resilient start, breaking back after losing his serve in the second game.

He fought back from a break point again in the eighth and the set went all the way to a tiebreak.

Nadal proved to have the edge in that, though, and the 32-year-old finished things off in the second set after breaking in the third game, keeping him on track for a record 33rd title at Masters 1000 level.

Nadal said in quotes reported by the Rogers Cup Twitter account: “I’m happy about everything. Of course, I can play a little bit better. I believe I can do it.”

Awaiting Nadal in the final is Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas, who had earlier caused another upset as he battled past Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 7-6 (9/7).

Tsitsipas, who turns 20 on Sunday, faced one match point before progressing against the world number six to reach to his first final on the main ATP world tour after almost three hours.

He had beaten world number eight Dominic Thiem in the second round and then dispatched Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic before beating Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals.

Nadal added of his final opponent: “He’s a complete player. He has passion for the game. He’s not just one thing, he’s got everything.”

Whatever the outcome on his birthday, Tsitsipas is expected to climb into the world’s top 15 following his superb run of form.

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Best images as Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem to win 11th French Open title

Sport360 staff 10/06/2018

Rafael Nadal proved he is the undisputed King of Clay. The Spaniard beat Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to clinch his eleventh French Open title on Sunday.

“It’s a dream to win 11 times,” said Nadal, who has now taken his Grand Slam tally to 17.

“It was important to play the way I did. It was a tough moment when I got cramp. He (Thiem) is a player who pushes you to the limit,” he added.

And as Nadal once again left his mark in Paris, we take a look at some of the best pictures from his outing on Sunday, as he lifted his favourite trophy.

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Rafael Nadal admits his body not on same level as Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo

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Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal reckons he has the body of a 40-year old – despite being 32.

Speaking after his quarter-final win at Roland Garros over Diego Schwartzman on Thursday, Nadal talked about coping with his fitness as he ages, while also contrasting the state of his body to Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

A reporter asked the ten-time French Open champion: “If I can make a parallel with Cristiano Ronaldo, the doctors of Real Madrid published medical results saying that he has a body of 23 years with 7 per cent fat.

“Since you are the same age, how’s your body and what are your tricks to staying in perfect condition?”

Nadal, in reply, said he was happy with how things stand for him fitness wise – even if he believes himself aged beyond his years.

“My body is about 40 years old, but I’m not really focusing on that,” Nadal explained.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates

“I’m just playing tennis. I’m not really interested by all these things, and I don’t think that – you can’t really know the reality of how old your body is.”

Nadal has had a long history of injuries, but ‘The King of Clay’ is targeting his eleventh Roland Garros title as he does battle with Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals on Friday..

“I’m 32, and I’m how I am. I’m happy. I accept my age,” added Nadal.

“I try to adapt to all the changes that the body is going through over the years.

“There are things that are lost and there are other things that are gained, and I’m trying to improve all the time. That’s it.

“I’m happy for Cristiano that he’s 23, his body is 23.”

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