Speaking on Tennis Channel, former player James Blake recalled Rafael Nadal's first Rogers Cup title back in 2005. That year the Spaniard defeated Andre Agassi to win his maiden hard-court title. "I remember that very well because I played Rafa a few months later and ended up calling Andre for the scouting report.
I didn't know, I had been off the tour for most 2004 when Rafa was on his rise and I said, Who is this kid. Andre gonna obviously beat this kid. He is 19 years old and little did I know this is gonna be one of the best of all time," Blake said.
On Nadal's decision to pull out from Cincinnati, Blake added: "He did not play a lot but you saw his best effort, you saw a great week of tennis on hard courts. His knee is okay, he is ready for the US Open, he has played enough matches in his career, I do not think he needs more.
I am sorry for the fans in Cincinnati but I think the best idea for him gearing up for the US Open is to be anywhere but Cincinnati." Blake also praised Daniil Medvedev who lost to Nadal on Sunday: "Finals in Washington, finals here (in Montreal).
Great for his fitness and he is able to make it through all these matches and he is so consistent, so solid. It wasn't enough against Nadal but nothing to hang your head on there when you are playing against Rafa Nadal but having a great year and deserves to be on the top ten."