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By Chris Oddo | Wednesday August 9, 2017

 
Rafael Nadal

It was smooth sailing for Rafael Nadal, who opened his hardcourt season in style with a straight-sets win over Borna Coric on Wednesday in Montreal.

Photo Source: Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

The day session on Wednesday belonged to Roger Federer at the Rogers Cup (he blew past Peter Polansky in 53 minutes). So it was only fitting that the night session should belong to Rafael Nadal.

Watch: Zverev Wins Epic 49-Stroke Rally from Match Point Down

It does appear to be the year or Roger and Rafa after all.

The top seed made light work of Croatia’s Borna Coric on Wednesday evening in Montreal, not facing a break point until he led by a set and double-break (he saved it), and pushing the 20-year-old to and fro with lethal forehand sequences and pinpoint serving.

Nadal’s 6-1, 6-2 victory sets up a third-round clash with Canada’s Denis Shapovalov. The 18-year-old southpaw stunned Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets. Shapovalov, a former junior World No.1, owns two Challenger titles in 2017 and has now gone 3-1 lifetime at the Rogers Cup and he has quickly become a fan favorite in Canada.

But he’ll face a dialed-in Nadal that improved his record to 47-7 on the season with his victory over Coric. The 31-year-old Spaniard is also a three-time champion at the Rogers Cup, last claiming the title in 2013 and owning a 29-7 lifetime record in Canada.


Nadal entered tonight’s match with a 1-2 lifetime record against Coric but he gave the World No.55 fits from first ball to last, completing his victory in a tidy 71 minutes.

The top seed needs just to more wins to ensure a return to the top of the ATP rankings next week for the first time since July 2014.

 

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