Finishing the 2004 season with the Davis Cup crown, an 18-year-old Rafael Nadal was ready for more success in the following season. Still a teenager, Rafa became one of the players to watch in 2005, reaching the Australian Open fourth round and the Miami final, losing in five sets to Roger Federer after creating a massive lead.
Those results were good for an upcoming star, and the upcoming ones on clay were even better, as he claimed two titles in February and extended the run during the main spring clay-court swing. Earning his first Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo, Rafa conquered Barcelona, Rome and Roland Garros to become the last teenager with a Major crown!
Entering the top-3, Nadal would experience a short grass campaign before returning to clay, winning titles in Bastad and Stuttgart. Heading to Montreal as world no. 2, Nadal was the top seed in the absence of Roger Federer.
Rafael Nadal wished to face Andre Agassi in Montreal 2005.
Rafa made a winning start following a 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 victory over a compatriot and friend Carlos Moya.
In the second round, the youngster had a more relaxed day at the office, toppling Ricardo Mello 6-1, 6-2 in 66 minutes. The Spaniard dropped 11 points in eight service games, facing no break chances and taking 56% of the return points to grab four breaks from seven opportunities and sail into the last 16.
In the battle for the quarter-final, Nadal ousted Sebastien Grosjean 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 40 minutes, repelling all five break opportunities and stealing the opponent's serve once in each set to find himself in the last eight.
Asked about a potential title clash against the veteran Andre Agassi, Rafa said it would be incredible to face the eight-time Major champion before he retires. "The conditions were windy, and it was not easy to hit the ball as we wanted.
I'm happy to score another win in straight sets and move into the next round. Grosjean had his chances in both sets' opening stages, and I stayed focused and broke him twice to bring the victory home. I'm yet to lose serve in Montreal, which gives me a lot of confidence; that's something new for me.
I'm more aggressive on hard court, and that's the critical element, as I sometimes have to mix my game and attack. If I can reach the final and meet Andre Agassi there, it would be unbelievable. I want to face him, as we have never met before.
He is a legend. It would be a new experience for me, and I want to meet him on the court before he retires," Rafael Nadal said.