Canada Flashback: Rafael Nadal passes Roger Federer

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Canada Flashback: Rafael Nadal passes Roger Federer

World no. 2 and the defending Canada Open champion Rafael Nadal reached the 91st Masters 1000 quarter-final in Montreal 2019. The Spaniard beat Guido Pella 6-3, 6-4 in windy conditions after an hour and 41 minutes. It was the 39th win of the season for Rafa and the record-breaking 379th at the Masters 1000 events, leaving Roger Federer on 378.

Also, Nadal stayed on the title course, trying to defend the title outside clay for the first time in a career at 33! The Spaniard had 24 winners and 26 unforced errors, leaving Pella on a 7-17 ratio and forging the victory in the mid-range rallies after losing the edge to the Argentine in the shortest ones up to four strokes.

Guido converted one of three break chances and got broken three times from ten opportunities offered to Nadal. The Argentine gave his best to prolong the battle but never looked good enough to challenge Rafa more seriously.

Rafael Nadal bested Roger Federer's Masters 1000 record in Montreal 2019.

Both players lost nine points behind the initial shot in the opening set. Nadal secured an early break to control the remaining games and take it 6-3.

The Spaniard held at 15 in the first game and grabbed a break a few minutes later after Pella's massive forehand error. The Spaniard cemented the lead after two deuces and a forehand winner in game three. Serving for the set at 5-3, Nadal fired four winners to close it in style after 45 minutes.

He controlled the pace with 12 winners and 11 unforced mistakes and hoped for more in set number two. After two holds at love at the beginning of the second set, Rafa converted the third break chance in game three with a smash winner.

He held at love with another smash winner to gain a 3-1 advantage and move closer to the finish line. The sixth game was the longest of the match. Pella broke back on the third chance following Nadal's forced error and leveled the score at 3-3.

Still, he suffered another break in the next one to send Rafa in front again. Guido repelled three match points on serve in game nine to stay within one break deficit. Nadal stayed focused and sealed the deal on his serve a few minutes later to propel himself into the last eight and earn a massive record.