Updated

Friday,
17
may
2019

17:26

He defeats him 6-4 6-0 in the quarters of the Masters 1000 in Rome and in the semifinals he will face Stefanos Tsitsipas, his last executioner

Nadal celebrates his victory against Verdasco in Rome.
Getty Images

I finished the game, 6-4, 6-0, and when greeting on the net Rafael Nadal he slapped his shoulder Fernando Verdasco. "Fulminado?" It sounded like a question but there was no need for an answer. The Madrileo had exited the Forum Itlicula, with the rise of Thursday blowing tail. Weighed more the moral of having won two Top 15 in the world (Dominic Thiem Y Karen Khachanov) than the more than five hours I needed to achieve it. The racket smoked and a couple of times had the shot on the ropes, but could not take advantage of them and seeing the first set escape everything came on him. The accumulated fatigue and the challenge of going back to a Nadal grown. After a first disputed sleeve, the second had no color. The Spaniard is already in the semifinals of the Masters 1000 in Rome, where he awaits Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Verdasco went out to the open grave, keeping nothing because the six sets on Thursday had left him with nothing to reserve. Hit deep to sink Nadal in the background and the Balearic does not manage to assemble the points from so far back. I broke the first service and got to have a ball to repeat in the next. It would have been a critical moment for Nadal, who would have put 3-0 down, but the ball touched the net … And fell in the half land of Verdasco. The score was 2-1, but the clock already warned that it was not going to have anything to do with the previous day. 21 minutes are what he needed to go 5-0 against Chardy.

It was from that third game when Nadal began to get into the game, to recover those meters that Verdasco had won, although the Madrid continued to push until another critical moment: 4-4 and three break balls to leave on track first sleeve However, he had no way to approach Nadal's service. The Balearic took refuge in a great serve and, as it had already happened to Chardy Y Basilashvili, Verdasco suffered to put even the rest into play. In that ninth game began to break the madrileo, that in the first set ball sent the right to the hall of doubles.

A rested Tsitsipas

Perhaps Verdasco was still thinking about that lost opportunity, or tiredness began to take its toll on Thursday, when Nadal also broke the next service, already in the second set. There was a threat of resurrection in the third game, where the madrileo came to have two break balls, but again the mallorqun was grabbing his great service to close the door. From now on, everything downhill, with firm Nadal and Verdasco struck down.

For the fifth consecutive tournament, Nadal reaches the semifinals, which seem to have become an atypical glass ceiling. Ah finished his way in Indian Wells, Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid. Precisely in the capital fell against Stefanos Tsitsipas, that this Saturday return to be his rival for a place in the final of the Masters 1000 in Rome. The Greek, moreover, arrives rested after the abandonment of Roger Federer after the double day of the sperjueves.

The Swiss was the third victim of that excess. The same Thursday afternoon he had to retire Garbie Muguruza with problems in a thigh, and this Friday l and Naomi Osaka, the number one in the world, got off without even leaving the track. The case of the Swiss is striking: until the last minute I do not confirm that he will return to Rome for the first time in three years. The organization took the opportunity to double ticket prices for the Wednesday session, its premiere, but in the end it had to be suspended due to rain. To compensate, the tournament placed that double day on Thursday and Federer, who is on his way to the age of 38 and only traveled to Rome looking for shooting, ended up with discomfort in his leg. And not to risk his presence at Roland Garros, the Swiss preferred to get off.

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. (tagsToTranslate) sports / tennis (t) Rafa Nadal

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