Nadal beats Djokovic in thriller to reach Rogers Cup final
August 11, 2013 -- Updated 1130 GMT (1930 HKT)
Rafael Nadal celebrates his win over Novak Djokovic at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
- Rafael Nadal edges Novak Djokovic at the Rogers Cup to reach the final
- The last time Nadal beat Djokovic on a hard court was three years ago
- He faces Milos Raonic in Sunday's final after Raonic beat fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil
(CNN) -- Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic can't stop playing classics.
Two months after their five-set thriller at the French Open, Nadal beat Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 to reach the Rogers Cup final in Montreal.
In a contest with memorable baseline rallies that routinely got the crowd off their feet, it was Nadal -- just like in Paris -- who prevailed to set up a clash with home favorite Milos Raonic.
Nadal stormed to a 6-0 lead in the tiebreak and when Djokovic sent a forehand long on Nadal's third match point, the Spaniard recorded his first win on hard courts over the Serb in three years.
He improved to 9-0 on hard courts this season and boosted his overall record against Djokovic to 21-15.
Nadal clinches 8th French Open
Nadal wins 8th French Open title
Rafael Nadal returns to the court
Relaxing with Rafa
"To play very well, I have to play aggressive," Nadal was quoted as saying by the ATP's website. "If not, I cannot play well on this kind of surface. And I did.
"I played a very high level tonight I think. I played with the right decisions in the important moments. Yes, the serve worked well during the whole night. And the shots from the baseline, I tried to stay very close to the baseline."
The loss is a blow to Djokovic, whose best surface is hard courts. He had won the tournament the previous two years.
"There were very few points that decided the winner," Djokovic was quoted as saying by the ATP's website. "I had my chances, he had his chances. I guess at the end he played better.
"Whenever we play against each other, it's always a thrilling match for the crowd to see."
Raonic defeated his fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil in another third-set tiebreak, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6.
The big-serving Raonic suffered a dip in his game the past couple of months but has awoken at home and will now crack the top 10 -- a first for a Canadian man in singles.
He is bidding to become the first Canadian to win the event in the Open era.
Nadal, however, leads their head-to-heads 3-0 without dropping a set.
At the women's event in Toronto, top-seed Serena Williams faces Romanian Sorana Cirstea in the final after Cirstea upset grand slam winner Li Na in the semis.
Part of complete coverage on
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
March 21, 2014 -- Updated 1107 GMT (1907 HKT)
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
March 5, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
February 2, 2014 -- Updated 0248 GMT (1048 HKT)
Li Na outperformed Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open, but can she now surpass the Russian as the world's richest female athlete?
Roger Federer may have lost again to Rafael Nadal in the business end of a grand slam, but he can take some heart from yet another record says CNN's Will Edmonds.
January 21, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg, Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker -- today's tennis stars are teaming up with past legends of the game.
January 15, 2014 -- Updated 1859 GMT (0259 HKT)
Can't stand the heat of the first tennis grand slam of 2014? Then you clearly haven't been doing enough Bikram yoga.
After nearly a decade without any real change at the top of men's tennis, CNN's Will Edmonds looks at next generation of future stars.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
Ana Ivanovic is still seeking to rediscover the form that took her to the top of the rankings -- but she has found a new lease of life.
January 6, 2014 -- Updated 1142 GMT (1942 HKT)
As a teen sensation, Bernard Tomic had the tennis world at his feet -- but he's in danger of blowing it, says Australian great Pat Rafter.
Today's five most popular stories