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.”
Those serves 😫😫😫
Seriously. A time violation NOW!
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 💪❤️
Wake up call fro Rafa! He looks helpless😒😒😒.
STOP PRESS! 4-4
Rafa broke back… there is still hope…
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.
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!
Service is not working…
At least Rafa ia serving first in the second and held serve. There’s hope 🙏🏽
Yes Lorna! 🙏🙏🙏
No hope, Lorna. No hope. Sadly.
But as always, we go point by point, game by game………….day by day……cheers
Yes, there is! You can turn it around, Rafa!
deigo on fire 😐😐😐😐
Come on Rafa! Start fresh from the next set. Vamos💪💪💪
Come on Rafa. Second set reset. Now room fir errors !!!
Ment to say “No room for errors !!!”
Oh dear, my typing is full of typos at the moment. It must be the shock of Rafa being behind in the match ☹
We understand what you are saying Lorna. Happens to all of us.
As for the match there is time to right the ship. Rafa never gives up and neither will we.
Diego is on 🔥 😱 Come on Rafa!!!
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.
Rafa has serious problems when rushed.
Who is watching?? only Diego and Theim worry me against Rafa on clay. Not even djoker
Wow! Rafa us being outplayed early on. Diego is taking the ball early and hitting bombs to break Rafa. Come on Rafa!
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 👍🏻
Wonder what’s bothering Rafa, he seems off from the third game
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 👍