Montreal: Spain’s Rafa Nadal handed Novak Djokovic another semi-final defeat when he beat the world No. 1 at the Rogers Cup on Saturday to set up a title decider against local favourite Milos Raonic.
Nadal held off a surging Djokovic to win 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2) in a pulsating semi-final that resembled a heavyweight boxing showdown with the duo trading breathtaking winners.
The victory was Nadal’s second successive over Djokovic at this stage of a tournament following his epic five-set triumph on clay at the French Open in June.
“To beat Novak on any surface is very important,” Nadal said in a courtside interview. “His level is always high and you have to play well ... almost perfect to beat him.”
Nadal made a flying start in front of a capacity crowd as Djokovic was unusually tentative and struggled on serve.
But the lull did not last long as the Serbian stormed back into the contest, unleashing some crunching forehand winners as he drew level.