PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Fernando Verdasco to reach Rome semifinals

(AP) – Rafael Nadal put away Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-0 at the Italian Open on Friday, and ought to be a little nervous.

He’s conceded only six games in six sets at the Foro Italico, but he’s reached the semi-finals.

He was playing great, being honest. I was not playing bad at the beginning at all. But he was playing unbelievable. No mistakes, a lot of winners, taking the ball early. Was a very difficult first set. I think I had a good feelings during the whole match. Then after winning that first set, in the second… of course he slows down a little bit, but I was able to play a little bit more aggressive with the forehand. I did a lot of things well this afternoon.

It’s good news I have been able to be back again in the semi-finals. Another three straight victories. I have been in that round during the last five events. First one I didn’t have the chance to play, Indian Wells. The next three, Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, I lost in this round of semi-finals. But [to] be there all the time is good news.

Rafa has fallen in the semi-finals of his last three tournaments – all on his favoured clay. And next up is Stefanos Tsitsipas, whom Rafa lost to in Madrid last week.

What happened, I know. The solution, I know. The execution is not easy. The theory is always easy, but the execution is much more difficult. Tennis is a simple sport. After a lot of years here, I know what happened last week, and I going to try to do it better tomorrow.

Sources: AP, ATP Tour

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13 comments

  1. Yes I was so pleased to see the score on Friday 😀 I did not follow as I had to go to my neighbour s funeral 😢 in the afternoon but prayed for him in the church 🏫 and it was answered. ☺ Toasted him with a glass of sangria 🍷on Saturday. Again today for Sat semi final Bravo 😀🍷 Fiona in Paris

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  2. Dear Rafa

    Please go up to the net more, to finish off the point. Verdasco gave you a hard time in the first set because that’s exactly what he did. Ten years ago you had more energy and stamina to expend. You need to be more agressive now. I remember Carlos Moya saying, when he took over as your coach, that the strategy now was to keep the points short, to save wear and tear on your body.

    Love you always.

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  3. May your mind and body work together harmoniously as they have so many times before. It’s all about being ready as each shot is a new opportunity. Enjoy yourself, Rafa! All the best!

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  4. Dear Rafa, so your going to play ST in the next round…please clear your head/mind and go into match knowing you have it won. Think you have just had a head MRI showing no blockage. Ahoy! All’s clear ahead. You know your more talented.

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  5. All the best Rafa vamosssssssssssss champ you can do it the King of Clay 💪💪💪💪🎾🎾🎾🎾😘😘😘😘🐣👍👍👍❤️❤️❤️❤️

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  6. You are amazing! You are the best in the
    world as a sportsman and as a tennis
    player! Good luck Rafa ! ! You are an
    artist on the court.

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  7. Happy for the win but Rafa looks not happy on the court at the moment 😦 take rest and than all the best for tomorrow. Vamos Rafa ❤

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