Rafael Nadal survives early scare, defeats Fabio Fognini in Rogers Cup quarters

Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem

With only 30-somethings remaining on the top half of the Rogers Cup draw, anchored by top seed Rafael Nadal and including Rolex Monte-Carlo masters champion Fabio Fognini, and the 25-and-unders on the lower half - second and third seeds Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev, for instance - Friday's quarterfinal round of the Masters 1000 tournament in Montreal took on the look of generational differences.

Russian Daniil Medvedev was among the most consistent players in the early part of the season and at one point had the best record for the year on the tour.

But it all caught up to him in the third. "I was not 100 per cent". Thiem was 0-5 at the Canadian Open before this year, but he reached the quarterfinals of the Canadian Open for the first time in his career. "Honestly, the beginning of the match (was) hard because I (was) playing probably a little bit better than him, but then the score was against me".

"The match today was unreal because I saved nine out of nine break points, which doesn't happen that often".

Thiem will rest before next week's Cincinnati Masters, the last major tune-up before the US Open starts on Aug 26.

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With the win, Nadal made the Rogers Cup semis in Montreal for the first time since 2013 when he beat Canada's Milos Raonic in the final.

In other matches played on the day, sixth-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov rallied to beat 19-year-old Canadian birthday boy Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7 (7-9), 7-5 6-3 to seal his spot in the last eight.

Thiem stressed that he has no injury problems, but simply need to regain strength.

"I think he didn't play his best, of course", said Khachanov.

Everything was ready, so I just had to put the soup in the thing with the spoon and then the second one I was putting mango sauce on a lobster cake. This is just not enough in the quarter-finals of a Masters 1000, especially against a guy like Daniil, who is in a great shape, who is playing wonderful tennis. "I didn't have any chance like that".

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