After winning the Canadian Open for the first time in 2004, Roger Federer returned to Toronto two years later to lift another trophy, adding more jewel to his crown in what had been his most successful season ever with 12 ATP titles in total and 92 wins from 97 matches!
Rafael Nadal scored four wins over Roger while Andy Murray delivered his fifth loss a week after winning this title in Toronto, with the Swiss standing as the player to beat between January and November, claiming three Majors, Masters Cup and four Masters 1000 titles to confirm his dominance over the rest of the field, at least outside clay.
On August 13, Federer toppled Richard Gasquet 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 47 minutes, recovering from a slow start and lifting the seventh trophy of the season and what turned out to be the last one so far in Canada, despite turning only 25 a few days ago.
It was the sixth meeting between these two and the fifth straight victory for Roger who took down the Frenchman in the third consecutive tournament after Halle and Wimbledon. The Swiss faced no players from the top-15 en route to the title and didn’t deliver his best tennis that week, losing a set in four clashes and bringing them home after a strong performance in the decider.
He needed that against Richard as well, dropping the opener before taking control in the rest of the encounter to sail through sets two and three and secure the 11th Masters 1000 crown that put him on the level terms with Pete Sampras.
Gasquet showed encouraging tennis against James Blake, Tomas Berdych, Fernando Verdasco and Andy Murray, giving his best to stay in touch with Roger too after taking only five points less than his rival and producing almost identical numbers behind the serve.
Federer had 31 winners and 41 unforced errors while Gasquet stood on a more positive 23-24 ratio, not enough to cross the finish line first. They had a similar number of chances on the return, with Roger fending off eight out of ten and converting three from 11 on the other side to cross the finish line first and emerge at the top.
As was expected, the advantage in the shortest points was on Roger’s side and nothing could have separated them in the mid-range rallies, with Gasquet having the upper hand in the most extended exchanges. Federer kicked off the action with a hold at 15 after a service winner before his backhand went wide in the third game to give the break to Richard who cemented it with a forehand winner in the next game, only after repelling three break points.
The Frenchman found the rhythm on the return and created another chance at 3-1, wasting it but seizing the next one after a loose volley from Roger at the net, forging a 4-1 advantage and looking determined to cause an upset.
Hold at love propelled the underdog 5-1 up and the opening set was in his hands after another comfortable hold in game eight, taking a 6-2 lead in swift 30 minutes. Federer made too many unforced errors and had to find the way to improve that in the rest of the match if he wanted to overpower Richard who was ready to fight for his biggest title at the age of 20.
One of the crucial moments of the entire battle occurred at the beginning of the second set when Roger had to save three break opportunities, taking five points in a row to bring the game home and avoid an early setback that would have put him under even bigger pressure.
In addition, this gave him the confidence to start playing on a higher level, stealing Gasquet’s serve in the next game with a smash winner to take a 2-0 lead, surviving a couple of break points in game three as well to control the scoreboard despite not playing at his best.
A backhand down the line winner in game seven pushed Federer 5-2 up, completing the set with another good hold two games later when Richard netted an easy forehand. The Frenchman was unable to master his groundstrokes like he did in the opener but was there with Roger in the first four games of the deciding set, hoping to produce something more on the return and gain the advantage again.
Instead of that, Federer broke him at 2-2 after a shaky forehand from Gasquet, cementing the break after deuce in the next game to gain a 4-2 advantage. Richard lost the ground completely in those moments, wasting a game point in game seven and suffering another break thanks to a wild forehand that allowed Federer to serve for the title.
Another forehand error from Gasquet gave Roger the title in that eighth game, celebrating yet another crown in an already fantastic season and setting eyes on the third US Open crown in a few weeks.