Sunday, August 1

Nadal flies to the quarters in Australia

  • The world number two gets rid of Fognini in three sets and without apparent back pain.

  • The Balearic tennis player will face Greek Tsitsipas for a place in the semifinals.

Overwhelming. Without giving option and if to show any problem in his back. Rafael Nadal He is already in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open after getting rid of Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4 and 6-1. His next rival will be the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. After the first week of the tournament, the world number 2 seems in a position to fight for a title he won in 2009 and win the 21st Grand Slam of his career, although now the hardest moment arrives.

Nadal He did not want surprises against an opponent capable of complicating his life and who had done it four times in 16 matches. The start has been 3-0. Fognini has reacted to get closer to 3-2, but the Italian was unable to make up for the initial disadvantage. The world number 2 has followed his pace of play and safety (only 5 unforced errors) to score the first set in 46 minutes.

Four games in a row

Fognini he was uncomfortable on the court. He had great shots but too many mistakes. In the second sleeve the Italian tennis player (17th world) has accelerated his game without so many errors to make the break (4-2), but in the next game he has let his serve escape. And in the next game Fognini has missed a 0-40, what Nadal had not done to add the third game. It was the decisive moment. Nadal has taken his best tennis and resources to save the situation. The world number 2 has chained four games in a row and has scored the second set to the despair of Fognini.

The Italian tennis player lost faith in his few options quickly in the third set in which he gave up his service twice (2-1 and 4-1), before a Nadal thrown and ready to enter for the 13th time in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

“This victory is important for my confidence. It was not an easy game and in the second set it has been seen. I have not played well at that time, but I have managed to overcome the situation,” said Nadal who was also happy because his back has not bothered him. “That is as important as victory,” he said.

Tsitsipas, close rival

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A hard road awaits Nadal. In the quarterfinals he will face Tsitsipas (World 6) who has gone to the quarterfinals without playing, after Berretini’s resignation due to his abdominal problems. The Russians will face off in the other quarter-finals of their draw Daniil Medvedev Y Andrey Rublev who have defeated, respectively, the American McKenzie McDonald by 64, 6-2, 6-3 and the Casper ruud, who has retired when he lost 6-2 and 7-6 (3).

In the women’s tournament the American Jessica Pegula (61st world) has surprised by eliminating the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina (5) by 6-4, 3-6 and 6-4, while the also American Jennifer brady (24) has defeated the Croatian Donna vekic (33) by 6-1 and 7-5. For its part, the world number 1, the Australian Ashleigh barty, has easily defeated the American Shelby Roger 6-3 and 6-4, and will face the Czech Karolina Muchova who has defeated the Belgian Elise mertens by 7-6 (5) and 7-5.

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