Having lost his previous two ATP Masters finals, Jannik Sinner made it third time lucky in Toronto as he defeated Alex de Minaur to take the Canadian Open title.
It was an eighth career title for Sinner, who dropped only one set throughout the tournament and eased to a 6-4, 6-1 success over the Australian in the final.
Sinner and De Minaur have now played on five occasions and the Italian has won every match, dropping only one set in the process.
Sinner's earlier victims included Matteo Berrettini, Gael Monfils and Tommy Paul while second-round opponent Andy Murray withdrew before a ball was served.
The Italian had finished runner-up to Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Masters 1000 Miami earlier this year, but this victory in Canada is expected to see the 21-year-old take his game to new heights.
The next step for Sinner will be to challenge for Grand Slam glory and the youngster produced his best effort in a Major when making the semi-final of Wimbledon in July, when he was beaten by eventual runner-up Novak Djokovic.
Next, Sinner heads to Cincinnati, where he is +1200 to follow up with another title, and then he is +1100 to claim a maiden Grand Slam crown at the US Open.
The Innichen native is surely a Grand Slam winner in waiting and in the years to come he is expected to form a strong rivalry with world number one Carlos Alcaraz.
|Where||Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows, New York|
|When||Monday August 28th - Sunday September 10th, 2023|
|How to watch||TSN|
|Odds||Carlos Alcaraz +120, Novak Djokovic +150, Daniil Medvedev +450, Jannik Sinner +1100, Holger Rune +1600|
Having finished runner-up to Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Los Cabos Open earlier this month, De Minaur built on that by making the final in Toronto.
The Australian's recent efforts have seen him rise to world number 12 and his efforts in Canada suggest the 24-year-old is continuing to improve.
De Minaur had to win five matches to make the final, a run which saw him defeat British number one Cameron Norrie, big-serving American Taylor Fritz and rejuvenated Russian Medvedev.
Those results show what De Minaur is capable of and he is +6600 to go one better in Cincinnati.
The Australian is a seven-time winner on the ATP Tour and he is already a champion this year having claimed his biggest piece of silverware in Acapulco in March.
With great athleticism and a steely defence, De Minaur is capable of progressing further and the Australian is +6600 to claim his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open.
The 24-year-old made the quarter-final at Flushing Meadows in 2020 but was a third-round casualty last year, so will be keen to improve upon that effort.
Paul stunned world number one Alcaraz in three sets in the Toronto quarter-final, building on earlier wins over Diego Schwartzman, Francisco Cerundolo and Marcos Giron.
Few expected Paul to eclipse the top seed but he did, taking his career record to 2-1 over the Spaniard.
Paul was unable to repeat the trick against Sinner in the semi-final but it was still a strong effort from the American ace, who is edging closer to that breakthrough win.
The 26-year-old has won only one title on the ATP Tour, which came in Stockholm in 2021, so that is something that needs to be worked on.
However, Paul did make the semi-final of the Australian Open earlier this year, which shows he can compete with the best on a hard court.
The American is +8000 to lift his first Grand Slam title in his homeland at the US Open next month.
It may be too late in the career of Monfils to add to his 11 career titles, but the Frenchman has had some excellent results in recent weeks.
The 36-year-old made the last 16 in Washington and then went one better in Toronto, where he made the quarter-final.
Monfils was beaten by eventual champion Sinner in the last eight but he was the only player to take a set from the Italian.
Earlier, the French veteran had toppled Christoper Eubanks, Tsitsipas and Aleksandar Vukic, which highlights what the former world number six is still capable of.
Monfils may now be ranked 211th in the world but he is far better than that and is a player that could cause problems for the top seeds in the business end of the season.