After everything he has achieved in the last 15 years or so, Rafael Nadal stands as the most accomplished Masters 1000 player together with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. As we all know, Nadal has been the dominant figure at the Masters 1000 events on clay but he is also among the best players on the dominant hard surface, lifting ten Masters 1000 trophies on cement as the fifth-best player behind Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi and Andy Murray, delivering the tenth against Daniil Medvedev on Sunday in Montreal.
Competing in Canada as the defending champion, Rafa defeated Daniel Evans, Guido Pella and Fabio Fognini and moved into the title clash when Gael Monfils gave him a walkover following a tough win over Roberto Bautista Agut, propelling Nadal into the 19th Masters 1000 final on hard court!
Thus, Nadal has reached Andre Agassi who also fought for 19 titles on his beloved surface, leaving Andy Murray on 18 and forging the second-tier of that list, with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic dominating with more than 30 finals for each.
Nadal's first Masters 1000 final came on hard court in Miami in 2005 when he was still 18, standing on a couple of points away from beating Roger Federer before losing in five sets, changing that a few months later when he won the Canadian Masters against Andre Agassi for the first title on cement, followed by another one in Madrid at the end of that season.
Rafa won the title at Indian Wells in 2007, finishing runner-up to David Nalbandian in the closing stages that year and adding two more finals in 2008, in Miami and Canada. Indian Wells and Shanghai followed in 2009, with a big month of March in 2011 when he lost both finals at Indian Wells and Miami to Novak Djokovic.
Eight years after he did that for the first time, Rafa was the three-time finalist at Masters 1000 events on hard in 2013, conquering Indian Wells, Canada and Cincinnati, slowing down after March 2014 when he failed to make that one last push and lift the title in Miami.
Three years later, Rafa returned strong with finals in Miami and Shanghai, losing both to Roger Federer before going all the way in Toronto last year when he claimed the first Masters 1000 title on fast surface in three years, repeating that in Montreallast week to improve his Masters 1000 tally on hard courts and seek the 20th final after Cincinnati that he has decided to skip.