Ten-time champion Rafael Nadal opened his 2022 Italian Open campaign with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over big-serving American John Isner in one hour and 15 minutes at the Foro Italico.
Isner’s resistance against the 21-time Grand Slam winner lasted until game eight, when Rafa broke the veteran world number 27 before serving out to take the first set. From there Rafa cruised to victory, dropping just 14 points on his way to setting up a third round clash with Denis Shapovalov.
Rafa is now also 19-0 against Americans on clay, being pushed as far as a deciding set just twice.
“The beginning of the match was not good for me and even he had some chances on the return to break. I was in his hands at that moment,” Rafa said in a post-match interview.
“Lucky that he missed those couple of shots. Then I was able to break and then the match changed.”
Our champ will face next Danis Shapovalov in the third round on Thursday. It will be a repeat of their clash in Rome last year, when the Canadian had match point before losing.
Source: AFP, Reuters
my hero of all time your foto still on my wall at age 87 go get him tomorrow
I really like Isner and will cheer for him if I stumble across a match with him (and not Rafa) playing. But today he was really playing badly and that helped our Rafa. Rafa said it himself post match, he (Rafa) didn’t play that well but still won. He was too polite to say “because Isner played terribly!” But that’s tennis! One day you’re on the next you’re not – unless you’re Rafa 😉 then you’re fighting till the last moment no matter what – and you win most of the time due to the extreme talent God has blessed you with.
Rafa says it frequently, you get what you give. Shapo should take that in because he gives a bunch of b.s. and attitude matters. Go get him, Rafa!
It was a very good performance. It’s so hard to play someone like Isner, and he did really well. I’m getting sick of the behaviour of some of the younger players – Denis and Sascha are not toddlers and need to learn that they can’t have tantrums on court.
Shapo made himself look a fool firstly by arguining after crossing the net to check a mark and secondly by not knowing the rule about crossing the net.
I want to see Rafa play at his best level tomorrow and show these next gen hot heads how it’s done.
Just 3 to go For great momentum going into RG
I want to live the dream of Lifting RG trophy with you
Bravo Rafa. First one in the bag in Rome. Good luck against Shapovalov tomorrow – his behaviour on court was pretty bad the other day, jumping over the net and then telling the crowd to **** off. Play your best game with your usual courage and style.
Good Afternoon Rafa, this is part and parcel of every and each day improving more and lot of treaning at thesame time, once again congratulation. keep being great as you are. C. javier from The canaries
Conhrat Rafa seu fan from Australia APOLLO
Keep it up Rafa, well done.
Well done Rafa!! 😀👍🏻👏🏻🙌🏻💪🏻, great victory against a difficult opponent 👌🏻. Another match on clay, ‘another practice’, more training. You are improving, little by little to REACH YOUR LEVEL 😉.
And tomorrow against Shapovalov YOU CAN DO IT AGAIN champ!. Perhaps you keep saying ‘lucky, joke…’ last year. And what??, we can say also: ‘Perhaps is the luck of a CHAMPION, you. Cause you are great champion, such an ATHLET and an EXAMPLE. And what about last AO’ 22??, you won again against him, and on HARD COURT 🙂.
We know Dennis is a tough opponent, but how many tough ones you have defeated??. Just do not forget: YOU NEED/MUST BE RUTHLESS because they are going for you.
VAMOS RAFA, you are the KING OF CLAY, you HAVE A LOT LEFT TO OFFER, TO SHOW, TO GIVE! 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻💚
Lovely match Rafa. Congratulations Champion.🇪🇦🇪🇦☘☘
Play even better vs D. Shapovalov next, Rafa💪🍀❤️
Congrats, Rafa. All the best against Shap👍💪👏🤛🍀🎾❤️
Wow, quick post on the happy result!