Nadal defeats Kiefer in Rogers Cup final
Nestor, Zimonjic win doubles title
Rafael Nadal captured his second Rogers Cup championship Sunday in Toronto with a 6-3, 6-2 win over unseeded German Nicolas Kiefer in the final.
Nadal, the reigning Wimbledon and French Open champion, extended his unbeaten streak to 29 matches and has now won five straight tournaments. He previously won the Rogers Cup in 2005.
The win was the 30th title of the 22-year-old Spaniard's career and he becomes the third-youngest player behind Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors to reach that mark.
"I'm living in the moment now," Nadal told CBC Sports after the match. "I can think about that when I'm finished my career but right now, I'm just happy for the win.
"The most important thing for me right now was winning the title in Toronto."
Nadal became the only seed standing in a Masters Series event that had its share of upsets. World No. 1 Roger Federer, fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko, fifth seed David Ferrer of Spain and sixth-seeded American Andy Roddick were all bounced by the third round, while defending champion Novak Djokovic was out in the quarter-finals.
But the second-seeded Nadal cruised to the final where he faced Kiefer, a player he hadn't dropped a set against in three career meetings.
That streak was never really in jeopardy on Sunday.
Kiefer, the 37th ranked player in the world, failed to display the same level of aggressiveness that saw him knock off Mardy Fish, 15th seed Mikhail Youzhny, Davydenko, seventh seed James Blake and Gilles Simon en route to Sunday's final.
Instead, the German elected to trade ground strokes with Nadal from the baseline and when he did go to the net, the world's No. 2 ranked player consistently had an answer.
Unforced errors prove costly
Nadal broke Kiefer for the first of four times in the fifth game of the opening set.
With Nadal up 40-15 in that game, Kiefer had him out of position but his drop shot attempt went into the net. It was one of 31 unforced errors in the match for Keifer versus just 15 for Nadal.
Both players held serve until the ninth game, when a double fault from Kiefer gave Nadal the set point.
Kiefer showed more life in the second set, but the turning point came in the fifth game when he had an opportunity to break Nadal.
But Nadal continued to fight him off, going to deuce six times before Kiefer blooped a backhand well wide that allowed him to hold serve.
"It was decisive," Nadal told CBC Sports. "He was pushing me. He was playing his best game today in that moment."
Kiefer, playing in his first ATP final since 2005, unravelled from that point. He double-faulted twice in the sixth game of the second set and launched a forehand shot sky-high and long before Nadal broke him with a forehand winner.
Nadal poured it on from there with seven of the next nine points to secure the match and a $420,000 US prize.
Kiefer earned $210,000 as the runner-up.
Nestor, Zimonjic wins doubles title
Toronto's Daniel Nestor and partner Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia defeated the American pairing of Bob and Mike Bryan 6-2, 4-6, 10-6 to win the men's doubles final on Sunday.
It was the first doubles title for Nestor at the Rogers Cup since 2000, when he was paired with Montreal's Sebastien Lareau.
Despite their standing as the ATP Tour's top-ranked doubles team after their win at Wimbledon, Nestor and Zimonjic were the No. 2 seed at the Rogers Cup, while the Bryans were the tournament's top seed.
Nestor and Zimonjic have captured four titles on the tour this year and have won 14 matches in a row.
Sunday's final marked the third meeting of the year between the two teams in an ATP Tour final. Nestor and Zimonjic also defeated the Bryans to win the Hamburg Masters, while the American duo were triumphant in the final of the 2008 Rome Masters.
The Bryans previously defeated Nestor at the Rogers Cup in 2002, when he was paired with Mark Knowles of the Bahamas.
Nestor and Zimonjic had a strong start to the match on the Rexall Centre hardcourt as they broke the Bryans early to take a 3-1. The winners needed only 24 minutes to take the first set.
The Bryans bounced back to take the second set and then jumped out to a 6-3 lead in the tiebreaker.
But Nestor and Zimonjic rallied with seven straight points to take the match and share the $130,000 prize.
"Nenad played some unbelievable points in the tiebreaker to keep us in there," Nestor said. "Then we served well too when we got ahead."
With files from the Canadian Press