6 men who have completed the Canada-Cincinnati double ft. Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi

Rafael Nadal is one of the six men to have completed the Canada-Cincinnati double
Rafael Nadal is one of the six men to have completed the Canada-Cincinnati double

The two premier events in the US Open series, except for the Slam itself, are the Canadian Open held in Toronto and Montreal and the Western & Southern Open held in Cincinnati. Both these tournaments are categorized as ATP Masters events that offer 1,000 points to the victor.

If we look at the ATP tour schedule, we can see that there are three instances when two Masters events are held in consecutive weeks. The first is the 'Sunshine Double', which comprises the Indian Wells Masters and the Miami Masters. Next are the two clay-court Masters held in Rome and Madrid. Finally, we have the American hardcourt swing double, which is the Canada-Cincinnati double.

Both the Canadian Open and Cincinnati Open were held on clay courts until 1979. The first time both these events were lined up for two consecutive weeks was in 1997.

On that note, let's take a look at the six men who have won both these events in the same calendar year in the Open Era:

#1 Cliff Richey (1969)

The Open Era began in 1968. The 1969 schedule saw the Canadian Open and Cincinnati Open separated by two weeks. USA's Cliff Richey had already established himself as a prominent player on tour by winning seven titles before the Open Era began. A regular Davis Cup player, Richey's rise was magnified by the start of the Open Era.

The Cincinnati Open was scheduled for July of that season. Seeded third, Richey defeated Allan Stone, dropping only three games in the final. A couple of weeks later at the Canadian Open, Richey defeated the future founder of the Miami Masters, Butch Buchholz in the final in four sets to win his second title of the Open Era. He thus became the first player to win both these events in the same calendar year.

#2 Eddie Dibbs (1978)

One of the swiftest movers on the tennis court during his time, Eddie Dibbs ended up as the highest earner on tour in 1978. Credited with having coined the term "bagel," Dibbs won both the Canadian Open and the Cincinnati Open in what was the final edition of both the events on clay courts.

Dibbs was the top seed in Cincinnati that year and defeated Raul Ramirez 5-7 6-3 6-2 in the final. Later at the Canadian Open, he won the fourth title of the season by defeating Jose Luis Clerc in the final. Like Cincinnati, Dibbs had to grind his way to victory after losing the opening set. Dibbs never won a Major in his career, but his 22 singles career titles helped him breach the top 5 in the rankings.

#3 Andre Agassi (1995)

Andre Agassi hits a forhand
Andre Agassi hits a forhand

By 1995, the ATP tour had seen several changes in the calendar. The Canadian Open was now played before the Cincinnati Masters and the gap between the two events was narrowed down to one week. The 1990s saw Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras dominate the circuit with regular challenges posed by Michael Chang and Thomas Muster.

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Agassi was the World No.1 in 1995. He was the top seed in both the events that year. The American was defending his title in Canada, and successfully did so by defeating Sampras 3-6 6-2 6-3. It was the 29th singles title of his career. Later in Cincinnati, he faced defending champion Chang in the final. Agassi defeated Chang in straight sets to win his third Masters title of the year. It was the seventh of 17 Masters titles he won in his career.

#4 Patrick Rafter (1998)

Patrick Rafter prepares to receive a serve
Patrick Rafter prepares to receive a serve

Former World No.1 Patrick Rafter first reached the summit of the rankings in 1999. However, it was his hustle in the 1997 and 1998 ATP seasons that set the stage for his crowning in the rankings. At the 1998 Canadian Open, Agassi and Sampras lost in the semis and quarterfinals, respectively.

In the other half of the draw, Rafter notched consecutive wins against Mark Philippoussis, Jonas Bjorkman and Tim Henman to set up a final clash against Richard Krajicek. Seeded third, Rafter won the match in straight sets to win his first ever Masters title.

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At the Cincinnati Open, seeded fifth, Rafter paved his way to the final to face top seed Sampras. After being handed a breadstick in the opening set, Rafter roared his way back into the match by taking the final two sets 7-6(2) 6-4 to win the second Masters title of his career. In the process, he became the first player outside the United States to win the Canada-Cincinnati double in the same calendar year.

#5 Andy Roddick (2003)

Andy Roddick looks on during a match
Andy Roddick looks on during a match

Andy Roddick's breakthrough year was in 2003 when he made a promising start by reaching the semis of the Australian Open and later winning three tour-level titles before the US Open series.

In Montreal, he was seeded sixth. In the semis, he defeated Roger Federer in a final-set tie-break to set up a final against David Nalbandian. Roddick dropped only four games to win his maiden Masters title.

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The American was seeded seventh in Cincinnati. He reached the final without dropping a set. In the title match, he defeated compatriot Mardy Fish 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(4) to complete the Canada-Cincinnati double.

#6 Rafael Nadal (2013)

Rafael Nadal celebrates winning a point
Rafael Nadal celebrates winning a point

Rafael Nadal's 2013 season has been hailed as one of his best. He made 14 tour-level finals, winning 10 of them. The two Majors he won that year were the French Open and the US Open.

Nadal won five Masters titles that year, two of which were in Montreal and Cincinnati. In both these Masters events, he defeated the defending champion en route to the final.

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Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic in the semis and Milos Raonic in the final to win the Canadian Masters for the third time. Seeded fourth at the Western & Southern Open, he defeated Roger Federer in the quarterfinals and beat John Isner in straight sets (both tie-breaks) to win his 26th Masters title. Nadal thus became the first European to complete the American hardcourt Masters double.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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