Rafael Nadal he is still subscribed to suffering. He had a bad time in his debut against the Belarusian Ilya Ivashka, he also did not find calm in the duel of champions against the Japanese Kei nishikori, leaving a set. Won 6-0, 2-6 and 6-2 in 2h.19 ‘.
This Friday he will have a new opportunity to settle his tennis and approach a high level that he has not just reached. Faces the british Cameron norrie, who benefited from the physical problems of the Belgian David Goffin, who retired with dominance of the British by 6-0 and 3-5.
The man from Manacor, 34 years old and world No. 3, asserted with more dedication than shine his eleven crowns in the B
arcelona Open Banc Sabadell-Conde de Godó Trophy Regarding the binomial of titles conquered by the Japanese, 31 years old and No. 39. The historic Asian champion of the event dominated the 2014 and 2015 editions, but already in 2016 Nadal regained hegemony by beating Nishikori in the final.
He is a rival who is good at it, even when the Japanese occupied a place in the top-10. They are 12 victories in 14 commitments, a 6-0 on clay. The trend continued because the king of the earth has that amazing ability to find his way out of the labyrinth when he seems to be most lost.
He won the first seven games, 6-0 and 1-0, in half an hour. Nadal exuded more solidity than in his debut, a greater determination in his strokes. He continued to miss more than usual, but Nishikori showed less aim, who helped with his uncontrolled shots at the ‘donut’, which turned out to be a mirage. The rhythm of the Balearic was imposed.
The Japanese began to put balls. Logical. Nadal doubted again, the ghosts that he has brought from the defeat appeared before Andrey Rublev in the rooms of Monte Carlo. The improvement of one and the indecision of another led to a 6-2 Nishikori.
Fought with his own serve, as in Monaco. In the most delicate, emotional and sporting moment, Nadal came out of the mess he had gotten himself into by adding five points in a row, raising a 0-40, three break balls. Suddenly, a serve and a volley, an efficient first serve, a ‘passing’. The magic of crack. He was on the ropes, he rebelled and he was saved. That first game of the third set was decisive, as it put out the fire lit in Nishikori and revived the flame of Nadal.
He still had to save a ‘break’ ball at 1-1 to confirm his relaunch to the quarterfinals. He did not finalize two points of 5-1 and again faced the threat of breaking with 4-2. He survived everything.
Rafa things. He rolls on the ground when he feels full. It also wins on delicate, uninspired days. The greatness of a super champion, although he needs to progress as the tournament promises maximum demand. Maybe not yet against Cam Norrie (25 years old and 58th ATP), one more hard court tennis player and who he beat in the last Australian Open by 7-5, 6-2 and 7-5
But they could be on the horizon Diego Schwartzman or Pablo Carreño and in the other part of the painting there will be a fearsome finalist. The rooms are Rublev-Sinner and Tsitsipas against Auger-Aliassime. Youth and power. Much cheek and quality.
I leave with a positive feeling, I have improved
“It is a party that has a more or less simple analysis. I started at a better level than the first day, much more dynamic. I felt like I had played well. He has raised the level, for a while he has played very, very well, and it has been difficult for me to adapt to this level. I suffered a lot at the beginning of the third set. It was a very important game and I have fought for it. I have improved. Every victory means a lot and I hope to be ready for tomorrow ”, analyzed Rafa Nadal on the track.
“I leave with a positive feeling,” he determined.