Nadal delivers Djokovic a body blow

Rafael Nadal defeated two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic 6-4,3-6,7-6 (2)

Written by Associated Press | Montreal | Published: August 12, 2013 3:28 am

Rafael Nadal defeated two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic 6-4,3-6,7-6 (2) on Saturday to reach the final of the Rogers Cup. In a thrilling,2 and a half hour match,Nadal and Djokovic were also involved in a semi spat,after the Spaniard hit a ball directly at Djokovic’s face early in the deciding set while both players were up at the net.

While Nadal was quick to apologise,Djokovic wasn’t having any of it. Both players,however,were quick to put the incident behind at the net when the met for the customary handshake.

The fourth-ranked Spaniard will be aiming for his eighth title of the season but only his second on hard courts. The others have all come on clay.

“I said yesterday the only chance to win against Novak,the only tactic is to play very well,’’ Nadal said. “And I did. I played a very high level tonight,I think. I played with the right decisions in the important moments.’’

In Sunday’s final,Nadal will play Milos Raonic,who beat fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4,1-6,7-6 (4) in the other semifinal to ensure he’ll crack the top 10 in the world rankings for the first time in his career.

record meeting

Nadal and Djokovic were playing for the 36th time,tying the record for matches contested by two players in the Open era set by John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl.

Nadal,who is coming off a disappointing first-round loss at Wimbledon,opened up a 6-0 lead in the third-set tiebreaker before converting on his third match point when Djokovic hit a return long. The Spaniard will now rise to No. 3 in the rankings,regardless of whether he wins the final.

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