Rafael Nadal downs Stefanos Tsitsipas to win Toronto Masters

1 / 3
Rafael Nadal displays the Rogers Cup championship trophy after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the finals on Sunday, Aug. 12, at the Aviva Centre. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
2 / 3
Stefanos Tsitsipas returns a ball to Rafael Nadal during the championship in the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at Aviva Centre. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
3 / 3
Rafael Nadal returns a ball to Stefanos Tsitsipas during the championship in the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at Aviva Centre. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Updated 13 August 2018

Rafael Nadal downs Stefanos Tsitsipas to win Toronto Masters

  • Victory gave the 32-year-old Spaniard a record-extending 33rd trophy at the elite Masters level as well as his 80th title
  • Nadal added the Canadian honour to the titles he won in 2005, 2008 and 2013

TORONTO: Rafael Nadal held off a late surge from birthday boy Stefanos Tsitsipas to claim the 80th title of his career with victory at the Toronto Masters on Sunday.
Nadal overcame a second set fightback from Greek youngster Tsitsipas to claim a 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) victory in just under 1hr 45mins.
The win gave the 32-year-old Spaniard a record-extending 33rd trophy at the elite Masters level as well as his 80th title.
However Nadal later raised doubts about he would be chasing an 81st title at next week's event in Cincinnati, refusing to confirm that he would play the event as scheduled.
"Will I play in Cincinnati? I can't answer to you right now," Nadal said.
Earlier, a vocal crowd of local flag-waving Greek fans had sang Happy Birthday to the 20-year-old Tsitsipas as Nadal reflected on a successful campaign.
"I feel I've improved every match, it's important to win even if you're not at your best," Nadal said as he prepares for the US Open later this month.
"It's been almost 10 years (2010) since I last played in Toronto," Nadal said of the event which comes to the city in even-number years as it trades with Montreal.
"This trophy means a lot."
The loss concluded the tennis week of his life for Tsitsipas, who beat four Top 10 opponent in a row to reach the final.
"It's been an amazing week for me," he said. "This trophy means a lot after playing my first Masters 1000 final.
"Rafa is amazing, he never cracks. He will always grab you like a bulldog and he will always make you suffer on the court.
"He was (once) normal like all of us, and he managed to become this beast, this monster that he is today.
"That's how you feel when you play against him."
Tsitsipas is taking the lesson he learned on court to heart: "I'm really hungry for more. I believe I can achieve much more this year.
"Although I lost today, I feel like I can still beat good players. I really want to make more points this year and get the best out of myself."
Nadal added the Canadian honour to the titles he won in 2005, 2008 and 2013.
The final featured a plot twist at the end, with Nadal broken while serving for victory leading a set and 5-4.
Tsitsipas would not buckle, making it 5-5 as Nadal hit the net, with the set finally going into a tiebreaker.
Nadal regained control, earning a match point on a Tsitsipas forehand error.
The Spanish world number one concluded victory with a forehand winner deep into the corner.
He now owns five titles this season and has clinched the first spot in the year-end finals in London.


Spanish driver Carlos Sainz takes third Dakar Rally title after winning Saudi edition

Updated 17 January 2020

Spanish driver Carlos Sainz takes third Dakar Rally title after winning Saudi edition

  • Asked about defending his title next year Sainz said: “It’s too early to think about it, let me enjoy this”
  • He has now won the Dakar with three different manufacturers, having previously triumphed with Volkswagen in 2010 and Peugeot in 2018

QIDDIYA: Veteran Spanish driver Carlos Sainz won the Dakar Rally for the third time on Friday, finishing with a comfortable winning margin in the first running of the event in Saudi Arabia.
The 57-year-old crossed the line in the 12th and final stage 6min 21sec ahead of nearest challenger and reigning champion Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar, who had managed to cut Sainz’s lead to just 24 seconds on Tuesday but fell back after navigation blunders.
“I feel very happy. There’s a lot of effort behind this. A lot of training, practice,” Sainz told the race’s website.
“It has been a flat out rally since the beginning. It was fantastic, a first time in Saudi Arabia, of course you can always improve but it was a fantastic effort,” he added.
Asked about defending his title next year Sainz said: “It’s too early to think about it, let me enjoy this.”
Sainz, the father of F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr., seized control of the race from the third stage in his X-raid Mini.
He has now won the Dakar with three different manufacturers, having previously triumphed with Volkswagen in 2010 and Peugeot in 2018.
Stephane Peterhansel was third at 9min 58sec behind in his Mini. Both the Frenchman and Sainz won four stages in the marathon 12-day, 7,800-kilometer (4,800-mile) race.
Ricky Brabec triumphed in the motorbike section for Honda, becoming the first US rider to win the gruelling race.
Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso finished 13th on his Dakar debut, nearly five hours behind the winner.
Alonso came second in one stage but his first participation in the Dakar was a bruising affair as the 38-year-old Spaniard suffered a double rollover in the 10th stage after hitting a dune at an awkward angle.