Updated 05/14/2021 – 15:07
Rafael Nadal contest the semifinals of the 1000 Masters in Rome after beating German 6-3, 6-4 Alexander Zverev in two hours of intense and exciting game.
Nadal come like this defeat suffered at the hands of the German in the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open. Zverev would end up winning the title in the capital of Spain and in the Foro Italico he aspired to become the second player to win two games in a row against Rafa within a week.
The hard fall of Nadal that could end in disgrace: his face of pain …
The only one to achieve it has been Novak Djokovic, when he beat Manacor in the 2011 finals in Madrid (May 8) and Rome (May 15).
In addition, he could add a fourth consecutive victory against the Balearic tennis player, something that they had only done before, in addition to Djokovic, Roger Federer and Nikolay Davydenko. And it is that Nadal did not beat ‘Sascha’ since the final of Rome in 2018.
Today’s game got off to a somewhat surprising start, because the tennis player from Hamburg initially offered a version away from what was seen in Madrid. In fact, Nadal went ahead with a resounding 4-0 that seemed definitive.
However, Zverev reacted and began to hit the ball as we are used to., achieving a first ‘break’ that kept him alive on set.
Already with 5-3 in favor of Nadal and the Spanish service, The German tennis player had a breaking ball that could have changed the fate of the match but Rafa ended up taking that game forward and closing that initial sleeve.
Already in the second, and with the game much more balanced, Nadal showed a mental strength that was key in the future of the match, because during several phases he was at the mercy of the winning blows of ‘Sascha’.
To highlight the solidity with Rafa’s serve, this time he did not commit a single double fault, to the extent of winning 79 percent of the points played with his second serve (15 of 19).
The manacor achieved lift up to eight ‘break’ balls in a second set who was always on the wire, including three in the last game, while he didn’t waste his options when Zverev showed loopholes with his serve, which in Rome did less damage than in Madrid.
Faced with the avalanche of winners to which the German resorted to defeat the winner of 20 Grand, he found a very effective weapon in the left, who managed to break the rhythm again and again to Zverev.
Thus, with patience, good play, and mental strength, Nadal managed to cut down the tall German loses a game after seven consecutive victories.
A giant in the semifinals
Nadal’s rival in the penultimate round will be the American Reilly Opelka, a giant of 2.11 who has a devastating serve.
In the game that opens the quarterfinals, Opelka got rid of the Argentine Federico Delbonis by 7-5 and 7-6 (2) with 18 ‘aces’.
Be an undone duel between the player from Palm Coast (Florida), 47 in the world, and Nadal, who has the statistics in his favor because I never lost in the semifinals at the Foro Italico. So far 11 out of 11. It will also be his 75th Masters 1000 semi-final and the first for Opelka.