With a strong start to the season at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal became one of the players to beat in 2005. At 18, he won two ATP titles on clay in February. He made a good transition to the hard courts and reached the Miami final as the second-youngest player at the Masters 1000 level.
Roger Federer beat Nadal in five exciting sets, and the Spaniard bounced back on his beloved clay to lift the trophies. of Montecarlo, Barcelona, Rome and Roland Garros. Entering the top-3, Nadal did not maintain that level on grass, suffering early exits at Halle and Wimbledon and returning to clay to win titles at Bastad and Stuttgart.
Arriving in Montreal as world No. 2, Nadal was the top seed in Roger Federer's absence and one of the favorites for the title. Rafa made his debut with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 victory against his compatriot and friend Carlos Moyá.
In the second round, the young man had a more relaxed day at the office. He defeated Ricardo Mello 6-1, 6-2 in 66 minutes, dominating from start to finish to get another win and extend his streak. The Spaniard gave up 11 points in eight service games, not having any break chances and converting 56% of return points to earn four breaks from seven chances and cruise to the round of 16.
In the third match, Rafa outclassed Sébastien Grosjean 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 40 minutes, fending off all five break chances and stealing his opponent's serve once in each set to advance to the quarters. At Roland Garros, Grosjean was in contact with Nadal for more than three hours.
In Montreal, the Frenchman gave his best and still lost in straight sets in windy conditions.
Rafa Nadal will return in August
Speaking a bit more about the mental aspect of the sport during the interview, Rafael Nadal philosophized how players sometimes have to fight themselves in addition to their opponents as well.
"All elite sports are complicated and tennis especially being a one-on-one sport. The match is against an opponent who is sometimes better than you, or who is in better shape that day even if it is worse in theory. But the fight is also against oneself and that is a section that sometimes costs a lot. We have seen it in many cases. It is there, though not only, that mental work is especially important," he said.