Defending champ Nadal beats Pella to enter Rogers Cup quarters

Spaniard Rafael Nadal

This at the end of a rally that was 10 shots long, one that pushed Nadal from side to side like a windshield wiper.

There was no such drama in Toronto, where Williams broke Osaka for a 5-3 lead in the first and closed out the opening set with a service victor. And he doesn't appear anywhere close to being through doing this.

Rafael Nadal needed a set to get adjusted before unloading on Fabio Fognini for a 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory and a place in the ATP Montreal Masters semi-finals. But we are used to playing like this. The Friday night match between 10th-seeded countryman Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain or 16th-seeded Gael Monfils of France was suspended due to rain after Monfils won the first two points.

Nadal, who has now stormed into the semi-finals of the Montreal Masters for the first time since 2013, has improved his ATP Head-to-Head rivalry against the Italian to 12-4. "He's having a great season already winning a Masters 1000 and playing some great matches all around".

With the rain unrelenting, officials made a decision to cancel play for the day which means Monfils and Bautista Agut face playing two matches in one day to make the final.

The 32-year-old Scotsman has fallen to 325th in the world rankings after his January operation to ease nagging hip pain.

Top seed Nadal made it four wins from as many meetings with Pella thanks to a 6-3 6-4 victory.

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He was underselling it. Friday's match was the Spaniard's 40th win of the year versus only six losses. He and Sébastien Lareau won the gold medal at the 200 Olympics in Sydney, defeating the favoured Australian duo of Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge on their home turf. Ankle and knee issues plagued him all the way through, but not so much that he was incapable of playing the same grinding style that has defined his brilliant career.

It's what Nadal did against No. 11 in the world Fognini on Friday. "I think things happen quick here because the court is fast and it's true that in the first set, sometimes the player who is taking advantage stays with the adrenalin high and is able to increase the advantage". Of course is better to play without this kind of wind. "Of course, I prefer to play without these conditions, but in some way I enjoy", he added.

"But at the same time I had the feeling that there was a big chance to be 3-0 for me". Then (it) was 3-1 for him. I played solid from the baseline.

Medvedev was never really troubled, barely losing points on serve and controlling the action off the ground to reach his second Masters semifinal. "I know he's in good shape right now".

Thirty-six minutes later, the match was even.

"He's having a great season, one of the best of his career, if not the best", Nadal said.

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