Rafael Nadal makes final eight at Rome Masters with dominant victory over Dusan Lajovic

Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal advanced to the quarter-finals of the Italian Open on Friday with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Serb Dusan Lajovic. The Spaniard, who is defending his title in Rome, was comfortable throughout, only dropping four games to his Serbian opponent.

“First set it was 6-1 but super tough beginning of the match,” Rafa reflected. “I know Dusan can produce great shots; he’s a player with a lot of spin and a lot of power. I needed consistency and to make him play from uncomfortable positions…. To start the tournament with these victories is great news.”

The second seed will next face Diego Schwartzman on Saturday in another late match scheduled for 8.30 PM CET. The Argentine came back from one set down to beat dangerous Pole Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 after two hours and nine minutes.

Rafa is leading 9-0 in the head-to-head ratio against Schwartzman, with seven of those victories coming in straight sets.

Our champ on playing Diego:

“Always has been very tough against him. I know I will have to play well if I’m going to have a chance.”

73 comments

  1. Diego will serve for the set and match next 😳 Come on, Rafa, your last chance to stay in this match, keep fighting💪

    • Diego is too good today! He finally got a win over Rafa 😔

      Thank goodness the FO is around the corner. See you again soon, Rafa! Vamos 💪❤️

  2. Rafa’s shots aren’t penetrating the court. Diego’s shots are flat and rocketing through the court. That’s the difference Rafa has NO answers.

  3. First serve percentage 46 in first set and so far 32 in second. Don’t do that against one of, if not the, best second serve returners – unless you want a long rally that you can’t get out of without going for broke and risking an error. Fight, Rafa!

  4. According to Open Court there have been three positive Covid tests in the F.O. “bubble” among the qualifiers who are there. Two players and a coach. Not surprising with the situation in France right now. They should forget completely about having any fans.

  5. Rafa’s dad and Francisco Roig are in the stands! I doubt he’s allowed to meet them, but they can be there to cheer him on 👍🏻

  6. Rafa or Diego vs Grigor or Denis is scheduled not before 7pm local time tomorrow, not before 10am pacific time. Love Rafa’s schedule all week!
    Good luck to Rafa🍀❤️ Make your H to H against Diego 10 – 0 👍

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