Rogers Cup: Defending champion Rafael Nadal to face Fabio Fognini in quarter-finals
Rafael Nadal moved one step closer to defending his Rogers Cup title with a straight-set victory over Argentina’s Guido Pella in Montreal.
The Spanish top seed, an 18-time Grand Slam champion, won 6-3 6-4 in windy conditions to set up a quarter-final meeting with Italian Fabio Fognini.
Victory was Nadal’s 379th ATP Masters 1000 win, giving him the all-time lead having tied with Roger Federer.
Nadal, 33, has already won a record 34 Masters 1000 titles.
“It was a tough day in terms of wind but we are used to playing like this and when we play on outdoor courts, that’s part of the game. Of course it is better to play without this kind of wind,” Nadal said.
“At the same time, it is beautiful to play under tough conditions because then the player who has different options to play has better chances to survive these kind of days.”
Seventh seed Fognini, 32, beat France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-2 7-5 and his last-eight tie against Nadal will be their 16th meeting, with the Spaniard having won 11.
“He’s having a great season, one of the best of his career, if not the best,” Nadal said. “I need to be playing well.”
Meanwhile, second seed Dominic Thiem will play Daniil Medvedev in the quarter-finals after beating Marin Cilic 7-6 (9-7) 6-4.
Germany’s Alexander Zverev, who won the Rogers Cup in 2017, beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-5 5-7 7-6 (7-5) and will take on Russian Karen Khachanov next after he dispatched Canadian youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime in three sets.
In the other quarter-final, Gael Monfils will play Roberto Bautista Agut after they defeated Hubert Hurkacz and Richard Gasquet respectively in straight sets.