Tennis: Nadal on course for second straight Rogers Cup title after Monfils withdrawal

Rafael Nadal will aim for his fifth Canadian trophy on Sunday (Aug 11).
Rafael Nadal will aim for his fifth Canadian trophy on Sunday (Aug 11).PHOTO: DPA

Montreal (AFP) - Rafael Nadal is homing in on a second straight ATP title in Canada after reaching the Rogers Cup final without hitting a shot on Saturday (Aug 10).

The top-seeded world No. 2 was handed an extra day of rest when Gael Monfils withdrew from their semi-final - scheduled to start just hours after the French player defeated Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2) in a rain-delayed quarter-final.

Nadal will aim for his fifth Canadian trophy on Sunday when he faces Daniil Medvedev, who dominated Russian compatriot Karen Khachanov 6-1, 7-6 (8-6).

The Monfils-Bautista match, rained out on Friday night, were delayed a further 21/2 hours by rain on Saturday.

Although 16th-seeded Monfils out-lasted the Spaniard, he rolled his ankle in the process.

A few hours to prepare for Nadal was too much for the French showman - especially with the US Open coming up at Flushing Meadows this month.

"I was happy that I fought no matter what. As I say, I felt good this week, tried to give my best," Monfils said. "I showed today that I'm still a fighter.

"I love these matches, night session, I play tennis for the big moments, big shows. But maybe it was a safest decision not to play tonight."

Medvedev will be lining up a first career meeting with Nadal.

"It's extra special, but there is some extra pressure," Medvedev said, noting that he has played matches against Nadal's fellow superstars Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

"But this is what I have been working for all my life. I won't be intimidated. I want to win every match I play. Hopefully I can do it tomorrow."