Nadal was steady and effective, using punishing groundstrokes to work Tsitsipas around the court.
Greece's tennis sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas, is not only celebrating his 20th Birthday today, but also his history-making defeat, becoming the youngest player to beat four top-10 players in an event since the ATP World Tour was established in 1990.
After his fine display of sportsmanship, the world No. 1 went on to win 6-2 7-6 (7-4) to clinch his 33rd Masters 1000 crown.
"I got nervous, I played a bad game", said Nadal after winning his first hardcourt Masters title since Cincinnati in 2013. "It has been a fantastic week, a very positive one".
Nadal, who come back from injury again this season, is pleased with how he is holding up on the cement which he has never favoured.
With the win, Tsitsipas is projected to climb to at least number 15 when the new rankings are released on Monday.
"It's a pity Rafa is not playing, but it's still an awesome draw".
A huge butterfly caused a brief interruption in between a hold for each player, but Pouille did not feel any adverse effect and soon Murray was serving to stay in the match.
Nadal snatched a quick break in the third game with precision hitting from the baseline. Big serve. Great shots from the baseline.
Federer did express regret that Rafael Nadal, the Toronto champion, had to withdraw from Cincinnati in order to ease the strain on his body after a solid, if demanding, week of success.
Under a blazing afternoon sun, Tsitsipas and Anderson relied on their strong service games in the opening set on the showcase hardcourt.
Pouille outclassed a rusty-looking Murray in the opening set, breaking three times as the Briton sent down six double faults, recorded a first-serve percentage of 46, and won two out of 14 points on his second serve.
Tsitsipas picked up a mini-break in the tiebreaker, but a couple unforced errors proved to be his undoing.
Tsitsipas did then eked out a set point on the Nadal serve which the Spaniard saved with the help of a net cord.
Nadal came through with an inside-out victor for the victory, falling to his knees and shouting to the sky in joy.
"Hopefully I'll make improvements each day and get to the level I want to be at later this week. So I just had to believe in myself".
Nadal, 32, earned US$1.02 million with the victory. "He would have added massively to that part of the draw".
When Rafael Nadal reaches the final of a Masters tournament he usually collects the trophy, having done so in 83 percent of his finals so far, including this Sunday's showpiece event in Toronto.
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