PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Hyeon Chung in Barcelona to reach semifinals

Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal is two wins away from claiming the Barcelona Open title after sealing a 7-6(1), 6-2 victory over Hyeon Chung in the quarter-finals.

After a tight opening set, our champ began the second strongly, and after establishing a 5-2 lead, he served out the match to secure a spot in the last four.

After the match, Rafa said:

I have to be honest, I had hardly seen him play, all I had to go on were videos which I watched yesterday. These young players have a lot of character so I took to the court with respect, perhaps too much, but in the second set I started dominating.

I gave him a bit too much respect. At the start he was dominating, but I think once I broke back to 3-3 the match was more in my hands. (via AP, AFP)

Rafa will battle either Karen Khachanov or Horacio Zeballos for a place in the final.


  1. rainieri,
    i was yesterday on a another website where people were trying to mock nadal legacy saying he is only good on clay and not on other surfaces. They saying that the goat should be between federer and djokovic. And so far nadal hasnt beat the top 4 in a while.
    That pisses me off on the one hand but on the other hand its true rafa has not preformed well on other surfaces. He had the chance this year at the australian open but that didnt happen. What you are saying is yes he can beat them again on other surfaces but at the risk of injuring him again
    I dont think that rafa wants to be remembered as someone that only won that many titles because of clay. So I really hope that he does well on wimbeldon this year where he had his last best performance in 2011 when he was runner up and that he starts winning more titles on other surfaces

    • Rafa, even without his clay titles, has won the Australian Open, the US Open, Wimbledon and a plethora of other non-clay titles. How many other players have accomplished that? What more do you want from a multiple-slam, multiple-surface champion.

      I’ve said it here before, and I’ll say it again, I measure Rafa by his own accomplishments, which are phenomenal.

      Rafa is still playing, and playing well. When he hangs up his racquet, and only then, can his true genius be assessed.


    • Rafa said it was in Madrid where he first felt something may be amiss with his wrist. Before this he was playing on clay; Monte-Carlo, which he won [beating Stan, and Andy]; Barcelona, which he won [beating Kei]; Madrid, first occurrence of pain. Lost to Andy in semifinal. [Was given the OK to play Rome.]

      It may not depend on which surface Rafa plays on as to whether or not he reinjures his wrist. Good scheduling and perhaps dropping tournaments that present extra physical challenges would most likely help tremendously.


  2. Rafa has again crushed the thought of someone getting past him; but what a worthy opponent he had in Chung. And what respect Rafa articulated for Chung in his post-match presser.


  3. Rafa often starts slowly especially against a new player he has not faced before. Today reminded me a little of his match against the young Japanese in Acapulco. The second set was pure Rafa. It was wonderful to see the packed stands and even Sergio Garcia there.

      • Clay Fed is of unknown quality atm. Rafa if he wins Barcelona and Madrid/Rome will beat anyone at RG, Novak or Fed or Stan or some young gun, unless he is injuried (hope not!!).

        On hard court and grass it’s a different story. But if Rafa wins RG I think he will finally put an end to his poor run at Wimby this year.

        Depends on Fed’s form and his form + mentality, he still CAN beat Fed or anyone on any surface if he REALLY gives it his everything. The question is does he think it’s worth the risk of re-getting injured or tiring himself out before the later round(s) and tourneys.

        In today match it took him a bit too long to gauge his opponent. Of course we all knew he still had some (many) gears left and every tool in the clay court box. It’s just a question of when and which. Credit to Chung for playing as well as he could and no doubt he’s a promising player. But it’s always the same old story even with the Goaterer himself:

        Player A plays lightsout to have his chance to claim he has beaten the CCGOAT on his favourite surface. But the reality is noone can play his 110% in the whole match. So unless the CCGOAT is injuried or overthinking which slows down every aspect of his game, the result is inevitable.

        History has proved it.

      • Rafa is “unusual” on clay. But it’s also because he so “unusual” that his chances on other surfaces suffer. Health, injuries, timing, the ratio of hard court vs clay court tourneys which also decides the ratio of “clay courters” vs “hard courters”… Plus some decisions and luck here and there.

        About the specific “threat” word: Rafa is a “threat” to every one. Fed’s been beating him time and time again this year but he must know better than anyone else (bar Novak) to never underestimate and relax against Rafa, even when to everyone else they seem to, ehmm, *temporarily* have his number.

        Now I just hope he wins Madrid so all his people will be happy then pulls out of Rome for good, sending a clear msg to the rest of the tourt that he only sacrifices Rome to even increase chance for *the* La Decima.

        Of course I (practically all his fans sans the Spanish) still prefer his chance in Rome but since he can’t (well, of course he *can*, he just doesn’t want to) skip Madrid, might as well try his best to win the whole Spanish things then do tennis and everyone a favour – rest properly for the main event.

        Especially with a super, though a bit rusty, well-rest Fed waiting for him at RG or Wimby or both.

        (The FedExpress said they would decide whether to play RG after 10 May. Well, no doubt they want to gauge “the field” aka Rafa and Novak. But I think he will still play. He only has his final chance this year to do “the impossible”, and he will take it. But of course I can be wrong, which I’d happy to be :D).

      • mjus, I’ve got Rafitis, a disease that afflicts many a Rafa fan.🤗 My mindset is, “Who next will fall victim to Rafa?”

        To answer your question, in his present form and with high confidence, Rafa can certainly beat Roger.

        Yes, Wimbledon may be a problem but Rafa is an all-surface champion. If he and his team have done their homework, if he summons those nerves of steel, I believe Rafa will be a force of nature against anyone, including Roger.

        I am now concentrating on the clay season, and looking forward to Rafa winning more of those titles. More titles will inject Rafa with a double dose of confidence. May his reign continue.

        RAFA ROCKS

  4. Wow!!! I held my breath in the first set as it was close. Chung is strong but couldn’t get past the wall named Rafa! A good variety of tennis on display. This match was an ideal workout for Rafa and I think it sets him up nicely for his next encounter 😄

    • It’s okay, Lorna. Rafa is the best TB player on clay. Even the best TB player in general that is Fed often loses to him by some considerable margin. 😀

  5. So happy love it love it. Keep up the good work. Play strong. Have faith. King of clay. Love watching you. Thank you tennis channel

  6. Slow start, but than it was a great match. Rafa looked very strong. So happy. Take rest and good luck for the next round. Vamos Rafa.

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