Rome – Rafael Nadal was worried for just a few games before accelerating and crushing his Spanish compatriot Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-0 to reach the semifinals of the Masters 1000 tournament in Rome on Friday, where he will face Greece Stefano Tsitsipas.
Nadal has gone on to play his fourth straight semifinal since the start of the season on clay, but he has not yet managed to pass this course.
Eight times winner of the tournament in Rome and defending champion, Nadal will face on Saturday Tsitsipas (7th world), who qualified without playing for the semi-finals after the injury package of Roger Federer.
It was precisely Tsitsipas who beat Nadal last week in the semi-finals in Madrid. The Greek was then beaten in the final by the world No.1 Novak Djokovic.