(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