Top Seed Nadal Against No. 4 Seed Agassi in Blockbuster Final

August 14, 2005 01:31 PM
Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal pose at the net before their final at the 2005 Rogers Cup© Robert Laberge/Getty Images
Top seed Rafael Nadal takes on No. 4 Andre Agassi for the first time Sunday in the final of the Rogers Masters. The 19-year-old Spaniard is appearing in his ATP-best 10th final of the season and he is looking to capture his ninth title, the first on hard courts.

If Nadal wins, he would match Mats Wilander's 1983 record for most titles by a teenager in a season. Nadal is 9-2 lifetime in finals with both of his losses coming on hard courts (2004 Auckland, l. to Hrbaty, 2005 Miami, l. to Federer in five sets). Nadal is also appearing in his fourth ATP Masters Series final of the season, having won titles in Monte Carlo and Rome while reaching the final in Miami. The last teenager to win the Canadian title was Michael Chang (18 years, 5 months) in 1990.

The 35-year-old Agassi is making his second straight ATP final appearance, having won his 60 th career title at the Mercedes-Benz Cup in Los Angeles two weeks ago. Agassi is 3-0 in Canadian finals, having won the title in 1992, '94-95. He is trying to become the oldest player to win this title in the Open Era, surpassing Ivan Lendl (30 years, 5 months), who won the title in 1989. Agassi is 60-28 lifetime in finals, including an all-time best 17-4 in ATP Masters Series finals. Agassi has won eight straight Masters Series finals since losing in 1998 Miami (l. to Rios).

The 16-year age differential between the two is the largest in an ATP final since 1979 Tel Aviv when Tom Okker (35) of the Netherlands defeated Per Hjertquist (19) of Sweden. Agassi is 2-2 lifetime against teenagers in finals with his last win over Marat Safin (19) at the ATP Masters Series Paris in 1999. His last loss came to Pete Sampras (19) in the 1990 US Open.

The winner of the best-of-three sets final receives 100 INDESIT ATP Race/US Open Series points and $400,000 while the runner-up collects 70 INDESIT ATP Race/US Open Series points and $200,000.

There will be several streaks on the line, including Nadal's 15-match winning streak since he lost a second round match at Wimbledon (l. to Gilles Muller) on June 23. No. 1 seeds in finals on the ATP circuit are undefeated (19-0) this year. In addition to Agassi's unbeaten mark in the last eight ATP Masters Series finals, the American brings in a 10-match winning streak.

Nadal leads the ATP circuit in match wins (64) and is co-title (8) leader (w/Federer). He holds a 64-8 match record, including 15-4 on hard courts. He has held serve 52 of 53 games this week with his career-best streak ending at 51 in the semifinals against Paul-Henri Mathieu. His 64 match wins is the most by a teenager since Boris Becker (69-13) in 1986.

In the doubles final, No. 4 seeds Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe take on the unseeded Israeli squad of Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram. Black-Ullyett are attempting to win their second title of the year (Australian Open) while Erlich-Ram are 2-1 in finals this season, having won in Rotterdam and Nottingham.