Tennis

Nadal into QFs after trumping Wawrinka in scintillating clash

Nadal into QFs after trumping Wawrinka in scintillating clash

Top seed Rafael Nadal won through to the ATP Rogers Cup quarter-finals after prevailing against Stan Wawrinka in a high-quality encounter on Thursday.

It was a masterclass in Toronto, where world number one Nadal came out on top 7-5 7-6 (7-4) after more than two hours of scintillating tennis.

Nadal had to dig deep in a contest that left Canadian fans on their feet as the 17-time grand slam champion advanced to face Australian Open finalist and sixth seed Marin Cilic.

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Wawrinka has struggled this season following a second knee operation but the three-time major winner was back to his brilliant best against Nadal.

It was a slow start for Wawrinka, who looked to be enjoying a straightforward opening service game until Nadal earned two break points, which were emphatically saved by the Swiss.

Nadal did not face a break point until the ninth game when he fell 0-40 behind at 4-4, though the Spanish star rallied to fend off all three.

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That triggered a run from Nadal, who had two opportunities to close out the first set before rain delayed play for 46 minutes.

Returning to serve for the set at 6-5, Nadal producing a stunning display of tennis to draw first blood against the shell-shocked Wawrinka.

Nadal looked set to run away with the match as he reeled off four successive games for a 2-0 advantage, only for Wawrinka to break back with a trademark backhand down the line.

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Wawrinka then enjoyed a run of his own, winning four games in succession to move 4-2 ahead in a red-hot display.And Wawrinka had the opportunity to force a deciding set at 5-4 but Nadal broke back – an extraordinary forehand winner sparking a wild celebration and providing the latter with the chance he needed to triumph.

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