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Nadal Reigns In Montreal

Montreal, Canada

Rafael Nadal captured his 25th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown on Sunday as he defeated home hope Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the Coupe Rogers in Montreal. 

"To win here, I have to be playing my top level," said Nadal." Very happy the way that I played almost every match in this tournament. Is very important for me, this title. Just very happy for everything."

Victory gives Nadal another boost in the battle for year-end World No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. He already leads the year-to-date standings and adds another 1000 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $547,300.

Nadal moves to second place behind John Isner in the Emirates Airline US Open Series Bonus Challenge standings. Raonic is in fourth position. 

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The Spaniard lifted the trophy in Canada for the third time, having triumphed in Montreal in 2005 (d. Agassi) and in Toronto in 2008 (d. Kiefer). He won his fourth Masters 1000 title of the year, having also prevailed in Indian Wells (d. del Potro), Madrid (d. Wawrinka) and Rome (d. Federer).

Nadal improved to a 4-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Raonic as he exposed a 50 per cent first serve conversion rate from the Canadian. Raonic, who leads the ATP MatchFacts in service games won and in first serve points won, was broken four times by Nadal as the Spaniard claimed victory in 68 minutes. Nadal hit 17 winners to just seven unforced errors, while Raonic committed 22 unforced errors.

"I did a lot of things well," said Nadal. "My return was huge this afternoon. I returned a few first serves of his in important moments, decisive. Then I think he play with more mistakes than usual. That helped me."

The 27-year-old Nadal lifted his eighth tour-level trophy of the season. After returning to the ATP World Tour in February following a seven-month injury lay off, he has compiled a 48-3 match record (10-0 on hard courts), including victory at Roland Garros (d. Ferrer).

Nadal is looking to finish as the year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time since 2010, and for the third time overall.

"I feel I have an advantage, but not enough to say that I am the favourite," he said. "On this kind of surface, Novak is really good. [There] remains three Masters 1000s, one Grand Slam, [Barclays ATP World Tour Finals] - more favourable surfaces for him than for me. So we are talking about 6,500 points.

"We have to realise how many points I have to win to be No. 1. I think I will not be No. 1 if I have less than 10,000 points at the end of the season. Today I have 8,000. I need to win minimum 2,000 more. That's very difficult in this part of the season, but I'm going to try."

Raonic was attempting to become the first homegrown champion at the Canadian Masters since Robert Bedard in 1958. By reaching the final, he is set to become the first Canadian to break the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. He had beaten countryman Vasek Pospisil in the first all-Canadian semi-final on the ATP World Tour since 1990.

"There's a lot of things, a lot of steps, a lot of professionalism that is not optional really to get to this level, stuff I really pride myself in, I put a lot of emphasis on," said Raonic. "To do it here is really special for me, but also it's very motivating for the next steps to sort of know that I've made that step to where I want to be.  It makes me want to push harder and work more to make the next step to go down that line and try to get as close as I can to my goals."

The 22-year-old Toronto native was chasing his second ATP World Tour title of the season, after victory in San Jose (d. Haas), and dropped to a 4-4 finals record.

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