After a good start to the season at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal became one of the players to beat in 2005. At 18, he won two ATP titles on clay in February. He made a good transition to the hard courts and reached the Miami Finals as the second-youngest player at the Masters 1000 level.
Roger Federer beat Nadal in five thrilling sets, and the Spaniard bounced back on his beloved clay to lift the trophies. from Montecarlo, Barcelona, Rome and Roland Garros. Breaking into the top three, Nadal failed to maintain that level on grass, enduring early exits in Halle and Wimbledon and returning to clay to win titles in Bastad and Stuttgart.
Arriving in Montreal as world number 2, Nadal was the top seed in Roger Federer’s absence and one of the favorites for the title. Rafa made his debut with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 win over fellow countryman and friend Carlos Moyá.
In the second round, the young man had a more relaxed day at the office. He beat Ricardo Mello 6-1, 6-2 in 66 minutes, dominating from start to finish to secure another win and extend his streak. The Spaniard gave up 11 points in eight service games, having no break chances and converting 56% of the return points to earn four breaks from seven chances and advance to the knockout stages.
In game three, Rafa outscored Sebastien Grosjean 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 40 minutes, fending off all five break chances and stealing his opponent’s serve once in each set to advance to the quarters. At Roland Garros, Grosjean was in contact with Nadal for more than three hours.
In Montreal, the Frenchman gave his best and still lost in straight sets in windy conditions.
Sascha Zverev praises Federer
Alexander Zverev recently revealed that Roger Federer was instrumental in the German’s success during his early years on the ATP Tour.
“Roger Federer was a role model when I was young and I was just starting to tour. He is someone who likes to talk to young people and give advice, which he did with me when I was 18, 19, 20; what it’s like to be at the top of the charts and how to deal with the media, how to deal with sponsors and all that,” Zverev said.
“We had a lot of conversations at a younger age, and I think he helped me a lot in that regard.” that the lack of face-to-face contact made contact with his mentor more difficult.
“We haven’t spent so much time together lately, and he’s not the kind of guy who has a lot of phone contact,” Zverev said. “You have to be in person to have a good relationship.”