Rafael Nadal survives to reach semifinals on clay in Rio [PHOTOS]

(Associated Press) Top-seeded Rafael Nadal overcame the stiffest test so far in his first clay-court tournament of the season, defeating No. 6 Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 4-6, 7-5, 6-0 to reach the semi-finals of the Rio Open. The match ended at 3:21 in the morning local time on Saturday —more than 14 hours after the tournament opened play on Friday, as organizers scheduled all five top matches on center court, and they all went to three sets.

Rafa was not happy at being kept up so late: “No tennis tournament should end at this time,” he said. “It’s tough for the players, but maybe worse for the fans. It’s very bad on the part of the ATP. It’s not the tournament’s fault. It was the ATP that didn’t want to reschedule a match. If it’s a Grand Slam you have a day to rest. It’s seems like a terrible error to me.”

Rafa will have about 16 hours to rest before he faces No. 4 Fabio Fognini in Saturday’s semi-finals: It’s a big win for me. I’m in the semi-finals. It’s a great result and it gives me confidence.”

10 comments

  1. Just shows what changing your pantsunder a towel, on the court, can do. Thats our Rafa.
    From the. Ladies of The Rafa Nadal Fan Club in Winnipeg, Manitba, Canada.
    Jean Palmer

  2. Great fight by Rafa! He played very well in 2.nd and 3.rd set. Hopefully he got enough sleep for the match against Fognini today. Vamos Rafa.

  3. Wow! I think it was first time Rafa had to change his shorts on court (with the help of a towel)! 2nd latest finish in history, and loud music coming from a party nearby for a good part of the match. .. What a match.
    Rafa had to battle the late hours, the noisy and the adversary. Many congrats to Rafa. Hope things get better for the next matches, when it comes to silence and reasonable hours.

  4. WELL DONE, RAFA!!! That was amazing! Couldn’t watch the match, I was only following the scores on my cell and nearly died! But what a come back…!!! That will give our hero more confidenze than an easy win – SOOO proud of u my CHAMPION !!! Only TWO more matches : VAAAMOOOS …VAAAMOOOS … VAAAMOOOS …!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Firstly a great fight back by Rafaesl who showed all his strength of character, intelligence and played tennis of the highest quality in the third set to win. Credit to Cuevas who tested our champion and brought out the best in him.This victory will give Rafael confidence that his best game is returning , it was 5.20 am ( GMT) when I switched off the TV . It is disgraceful that the ATP expect players and fans to tolerate such a delay.and then for the winner to come out and play a semi final in spprocimately 15 hourd, Talk about lack of respect . Well done to our wonderful champion . Wishing him another victory this evening. Vamos Rafaaaaa,

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