TORONTO — Top-seeded Rafael Nadal defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 7-6 (4) on Sunday to win the Rogers Cup men’s singles title at Aviva Centre.
Nadal converted on his first match point of the tiebreaker to win his 33rd career ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown.
Tsitsipas, who beat four top-10 players to reach his first career Masters 1000 final, had no real answer for the world No. 1 in front of a near-sellout crowd on a warm, sunny afternoon.
Nadal was steady and effective, using punishing groundstrokes to work Tsitsipas around the court. The Greek youngster, who turned 20 Sunday, appeared flummoxed at times and never really found his rhythm.
It was still an incredible week for Tsitsipas, who will move from 27th to 15th when the new world rankings are released Monday. He beat No. 8 Dominic Thiem, No. 10 Novak Djokovic, No. 3 Alexander Zverev and No. 6 Kevin Anderson before falling to Nadal.
Both Nadal and Tsitsipas held at love in their opening service games before the veteran Spaniard went to work. He converted his third break-point opportunity of the game when Tsitsipas volleyed wide.
Tsitsipas didn’t hide his frustration at the early deficit, pulling out the spare ball from his pocket and launching it out of the stadium.
Shots that were working earlier in the week — floating drops from the backcourt or off-speed serves — either hit the net or fed into Nadal’s hands. Tsitsipas was left muttering to himself and shaking his head after the first set was completed.
The Spaniard didn’t let up in the second set as he broke Tsitsipas in the opening game.
Nadal’s punishing pace and consistency set him up to serve for the match, but Tsitsipas finally showed flashes of his play from earlier in the week. He won the first two points of the game and converted his second break-point opportunity to pull even at 5-5.
Tsitsipas picked up a mini-break in the tiebreaker, but a couple unforced errors proved costly. Down 4-5, Tsitsipas found the net to give Nadal two match points.
Nadal came through with an inside-out winner for the victory, falling to his knees and shouting to the sky in joy.
Nadal, who won their only previous meeting in the Barcelona final earlier this season, improved to 4-0 in Rogers Cup finals. It was his fifth title of the year and 80th of his career.
Nadal, 32, earned US$1.02 million with the victory while Tsitsipas pocketed $500,340.
In the doubles final, second-seeded Henri Kontinen of Finland and Australian John Peers defeated Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Michael Venus of New Zealand 6-2, 6-7 (7), 10-6.
Kontinen and Peers will split $316,000 for winning their third title of the season.