The world No. 8, who was broken four times, said: "I've played Roger (Federer) two times, Novak four times". The slice worked well this afternoon.
While he doesn't have the legs he once had, Nadal owns the smarts to overcome the type of adversity he faced on centre court. Then leading 5-3, the Spaniard sealed the set with a great passing forehand shot down the line after Medvedev came to the net.
Afterward, Medvedev had no court cases and admitted that he permits his momentum slip in the second set.
Meanwhile, Medvedev has also beaten some big players at the Canadian Open, including number two seed Dominic Thiem.
"I can only say congratulations, Rafa", said Medvedev. "I thought it maybe would have changed my perspective completely on things, but I'm sitting here disappointed, which I think is probably a good thing, and if I want to get back to playing at a high level, if I was sort of just happy to be back on the court and not really anxious about the outcome, then I'd be a bit maybe concerned about that". But I didn't manage to probably show my best tennis.
"I really have to listen to my body right now, this last week has not been easy on it", she added after beating three top 10 players in her hometown win that thrilled a nation. "It's just about enjoying this one".
And keep an eye on the prodigious teenage talents of Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime who is moving ever closer to his breakthrough moment, and is in the more open half of the draw following Nadal's withdrawal. Nadal served out from there to clinch the 83rd tournament win - and 20th on a hardcourt - of his singles career.
Rogers Cup: Simona Halep eases into last eight in Toronto
After breaking back for 2-3, Andreescu promptly went three break points down (which she saved mainly through Bertens' profligacy). There was disappointment for Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, however, as he lost 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to Poland's Hubert Hurkacz.
Bianca Andreescu became the first Canadian to win the Rogers Cup in 50 years when Serena Williams retired because of an injury Sunday. To that point, Medvedev hadn't dropped a set and lost just 13 games.
Medvedev will be playing Nadal for the first time.
"Yeah, of course it's extra special".
In the second set, however, nerves seemed to get the best of Medvedev at times. It's different, I have to say. "If (Monfils) had played his match (Friday) evening, he wouldn't have needed to do this marathon".
Lajovic shook off the loss of a first set tiebreak to dominate the second frame, earning two breaks of Isner's fearsome serve.
He advanced to Sunday's showdown with Medvedev after Gael Monfils withdrew from their scheduled semifinal with an ankle injury. "I've had many, many tough matches". "They have something inside of them, in their game, better than all of us".
"It is so important to be back on a hard court and winning another big title", he said. The Spaniard also surpassed Federer in reaching his 51 tour final. A few hours to prepare for Nadal was too much for the French showman - especially with the US Open coming up at Flushing Meadows this month.