The Masters 1000 series started at Indian Wells in 1990, standing as the premium series of the ATP tournaments with the highest-quality fields outside the Majors. Over the course of 30 seasons, only the best players on the Tour have been able to make a name for themselves at the Masters 1000 events, with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer representing the highest tier and Andre Agassi, Andy Murray and Pete Sampras standing tall in the second.
Those six players are the only who played in at least 19 Masters 1000 finals and the first three we mentioned are the leaders of the pack, with 150 title matches combined! Rafa, Novak and Roger are the players to beat at every Masters 1000 tournament during the season and lifting 95 trophies combined in the previous 17 years!
They have all claimed one title so far in 2019 and Nadal will have the opportunity to go for the second one in the final in Montreal against Daniil Medvedev, advancing into the title match when Gael Monfils withdrew before the start of their semi-final clash.
Thus, Rafa has become the first player with 51 Masters 1000 finals, leaving Roger Federer on 50 and Novak Djokovic on 49 in the race that will see more twists and turnarounds by the end of the season and again in 2020, with three all-time-great players competing on the level high above the rest of the Tour.
Battling in his 117th Masters 1000 tournament, Nadal is through to the fifth Canadian Open final, 14 years after he did that for the first time at the age of 19! The 33-year-old Spaniard is the most successful player at this level of competition, claiming 34 titles so far and standing on the record-breaking 379 victories, leaving Roger on 378.
Nadal's first Masters 1000 final came in Miami 2005 when he wasted massive lead against Roger Federer in the final, playing in no less than 12 finals by the end of 2007 and adding more title matches year by year to reach the magical number of 50 back in May in Rome, leveling with Roger Federer who got there after fighting for the crown at Indian Wells and Miami.
Nadal is now alone at the top again, hoping to win back-to-back Masters 1000 titles and move further away from Novak Djokovic on that list before Cincinnati, Shanghai and Paris where the Serb should have the advantage over him.