Rafael Nadal overcomes Pablo Carreno Busta to reach Paris Masters semis

Rafael Nadal rallied for a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory Friday night over Pablo Carreno Busta to reach the semifinals of the Paris Masters.

Our champ saved four of five break points in the match and won his 10th match in a row (all in Paris).

“I think in the third I started to return better,” said the 34-year-old.

“The problem was he was playing well and I was not able to return well, so he was winning his serves very comfortably so when that happens you’re able to play more aggressive.”

It is his first hard-court tournament since winning in Acapulco in February before the coronavirus-enforced suspension of professional tennis.

“You need to adapt to everything,” added Nadal, who has only reached the final at Bercy once in his seven previous appearances.

“(I) have to adapt to the hard surface. It’s time to be happy because the semi-finals is very good performance after a long period without playing on indoor hard (courts). Tomorrow will be a very tough opponent.”

He will seek his second final at the 1,000 Masters in Paris against the winner of the duel between the German Alexander Zverev and the Swiss Stan Wawrinka.

40 comments

  1. Zverev was just too good and too powerful on this surface. He did what Feli Lopez and Pablo CB just couldn’t quite do.
    Onwards and upwards to London, Rafa.

  2. This courts suits players with a big serve and Rafa isn’t consistent enough at doing that. He’s struggled through every match this week and was unlikely to win against a 6’6” top 10 player, so I’m neither surprised nor disappointed. Rafa did better when he moved further back to return, maybe he should have tried that sooner. Also Mo Lahyani is off my list of good guys for a bit. Anyway, I’ll always take a loss over a withdrawal through injury.

      • Congratulations to American Rafa fans on the election of your new President.
        Praying for a peaceful transition.

      • Me too, David. However, it’s only one match for Rafa, but it’s history making for U.S.A.

        I agree with jas_uk, so true, “I’ll always take a loss over a withdrawal through injury.”

        Thank you Pauline❤️

  3. Rafa came to play, Zverev came to win, with that ridiculous serving!

    The final point says everything about Rafa’s game today. At least Rafa broke the Zverev serve once and made a go of it until he got shut down.

      • Oh don’t take it the wrong way Lorna, I’m definitely not questioning Rafa’s will to win:)

        That serving made the difference is all. I was content enough when Rafa broke the serve.

        On to London for the last time (for London, not Rafa;)

  4. Here we go again! So difficult though, when your opponent is serving bombs from a height. The onus now, is on Rafa to hold his serve.

  5. Lefty/Righty Rafa

    In a short article about his participation in a recent golf tournament, Rafa offers a tidbit or two.

    “On playing golf with his right-hand, he says, ‘For me it’s like a backhand. I started playing golf at 17 or 18 years old, naturally I began playing with the right hand.’”

    “World No. 2 Rafael Nadal is no doubt a complete package. He expresses his position as he says, ‘I am a little bit strange in all of that. I eat and play basketball with the right hand, I play tennis and football as a lefty. It’s a bit strange.’”

  6. I hope that rafa will finally win this tourrnament and prove that he can also preform on indoor instead of always clay

    • “…instead of always clay?” Rafa has won SEVEN Slams which were not clay-court events. Most players would be happy if they won a single Slam.

      Clay is the most difficult surface to win on. Not only has he won 13 French Opens but look up his record on the clay Masters and 500 series. Why haven’t other players been as successful as he has been on clay? BECAUSE HE’S GIFTED.

      I’d rather him play on clay than to open himself up to possible injury on hard courts. He will have my support no matter the surface.

  7. I am very pleased with Rafa’s win as Rafa displayed enormous fortitude in the face of adversity . I actually was worried in the second set that Rafa might lose . He managed to pull out the 2nd set by the skin of his teeth .
    As for Rafa’s match with Sasha , I am hoping that Rafa brings his ‘A’ game as Sasha looked tremendous today against Wawrinka .

  8. This slow beginning is a habit which Rafa, you best overcome.
    I am glad you have the wisdom to take it in stride and move forward and not let it deflate you. However, come out smoking the next two starts( I hope) and the prize is yours for the complete run in Paris. Vamos!!!!

  9. Congratulations to Rafa for the win today, although he looked a bit flat in the beginning. He can’t afford to drop the first set again, so I’m hoping he plays more aggressively from the start against Sascha Zverev tomorrow and not allow him to dictate rallies.

  10. I was nervous, but I should have had more faith in Rafa. PCB was playing flawlessly and Rafa was a bit flat. But our champ never gives up and Pablo could not maintain it. I too am happy for Diego and maybes PCB can be an alternate? He has had a great year and i know Rafa is happy for him.

    • He sure earned it. Happy for Diego.

      In September he announced he was in the best shape ever and then went on to beat Rafa in the QF in Rome. Lately though, he hasn’t been playing to his level so I hope he is just tired, not injured.

    • Set in the past, don’t understand your assertion: Diego’s getting a place in the finals…..bonus result of Rafa’s win.

      Also I won’t minimize Pablo Carreño Busta – Djokovic lost his cool, whacked his racquet to no one really in particular and was ejected from the US Open. It is an elite player’s arrogance such as ‘how can this player rob me of the first set’.

      Sports really exposes the character of a participant: easy to be nice when one’s up, but the true test is when the chips are down.

      I tend to watch the progression of up and coming tennis players, and who will make it to the elite level.

      Like you, I believe in Diego too. But Pablo is getting there too. To me it’s the unquantifiable factor that separates and allows the anointed ones to break through.

      For the moment, I am cherishing Rafa’s success and praying he can keep on keeping on. The last time I felt this way for a player was the great Pete Sampras. I liken Rafa’s clutch ability to turn the tide to that of Pete’s. But that’s where the similarity ends. Their respective game styles are poles apart.

      Pete was believed to be anaemic, tires easily forcing him to shorten games. Second-serve aces was the solution.

      I’m glad that Rafa has modified his game style to the current one to allow for longevity.

      I was broken-hearted when Pete retired; I cannot even imagine not seeing Rafa fight for me (this is truly how it feels watching him in all the ups and downs during his career) as he goes about problem-solving on court.

      It was but fitting that Pete presented Rafa with Rafa’s first Wimbledon trophy in 2008. It marked Rafa’s transition and expansion to grass, that he was not just one-dimensional. To me, it was the passing of the baton from one champion to another.

      • I was a generation earlier … I was devastated in 1993 when Sampras and Courier took over from the Edberg and Becker generation! But, sadly, no-one plays for ever.

  11. Congrats Rafa… As we know sometimes it takes him some time to settle in…. By the 2nd set he gets his rhythm going and by the 3rd set the runaway train takes over…

    Good luck tomorrow… He knows both opponents… He’ll be ready….

    Btw… Diego Schwartzman clinched a spot in the ATP finals… I’m very happy for him…

    For now ….. VAMOS RAFA!!!!!!

  12. Same as with Lopez Rafa made it through but gonna have to pick his level up if he wants to win this tittle this year

  13. PCB was on fire for a set and 3/4. Stunning play, Rafa was surprisingly tentative (except serving) and didn’t return well in set 1 but raised his game significantly when it matteted.

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