Canada Flashback: Teenager Rafael Nadal lifts trophy over Andre Agassi



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Canada Flashback: Teenager Rafael Nadal lifts trophy over Andre Agassi

Rafael Nadal was a teenager on a mission in 2005. The young Spaniard won 11 ATP titles for one of the most celebrated seasons for those yet to turn 20. Nadal claimed his maiden Major title on his Roland Garros debut after beating Roger Federer and Mariano Puerta.

Thus, Rafa wrote history books as the last teenager with a trophy at that level. Nadal saved even better tennis for the Masters 1000 series, reaching the final in Miami and finishing runner-up against Roger Federer despite having a massive advantage.

Rafa's first Masters 1000 title came a few weeks later in Monte Carlo, followed by another in Rome after an epic title clash against Guillermo Coria. After Wimbledon, Rafa won two titles on clay and became world no. 2 ahead of Montreal.

In Canada, the young Spaniard was the top seed in the absence of Roger Federer, seeking the first hard-court title. Playing on a high level, Rafa got broken only once against Carlos Moya, Ricardo Mello, Sebastien Grosjean and Paul-Henri Mathieu to advance into the season's fourth Masters 1000 final.

He faced an eight-time Major champion, Andre Agassi, in a battle for the trophy. Youth toppled the experience, as Nadal scored a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 triumph in an hour and 58 minutes to lift the third Masters 1000 trophy. Also, Rafa became the first teenager with nine ATP titles in a single season since Mats Wilander in 1983!

Rafael Nadal ousted Andre Agassi in Montreal 2005 to claim the title.

The Spaniard suffered only one break in set number two and started all over in the decider to beat the crowd's favorite with two breaks of serve.

The youngster got broken once and secured three return games to control the pace and cross the finish line in style. They had a similar number of winners and forced errors. At the same time, Agassi made too many unforced mistakes to plague his chances despite a solid effort in sets one and two.

Rafa had a slight edge in the more extended exchanges against one of the greatest baseliners ever and scored ten points more in the shortest range up to four strokes to forge the triumph. Andre got broken in the encounter's fourth game to send the rival 3-1 in front before Rafa fended off a break point at 4-2 to remain in front.

The American saved a set point in game eight, but it was all he could do. Nadal closed the opener with a hold at love a few minutes later for 6-3 and a massive boost. Agassi raised his level in the second set and served well to deliver a late break at 5-4 when Nadal sprayed a forehand error.

Thus, the Americand secured the set and forced a decider. Starting all over, Rafa controlled the pace in his games in the final set and kept the pressure on the other side. He earned back-to-back breaks that carried him over the finish line and toward the third Masters 1000 trophy right after turning 19.