Rafael Nadal’s unbeaten run at the 2016 Olympics continued on Friday with a hard-earned 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in the quarter-finals of the Men’s Singles Tennis tournament at the centre court of the Olympic Tennis Centre in Barra da Tijuca in Rio. He will now face the big-serving Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro for a place in the finals of the ongoing competition.
The Spaniard who is scheduled to take the court against Romania later tonight for the gold medal match in Men’s Doubles with his partner Marc Lopez, made things considerably difficult for himself early into the game, losing the 32-minute first set 2-6 to the 55th-ranked Bellucci.
With the home crowd getting behind the 28-year-old from Sao Paulo in numbers, it appeared to be running away from Rafa’s hands at one stage of the last-eight encounter which lasted for an entirety of 2 hours and a minute.
It took a special fightback from the Spanish sensation to overturn the deficit and prevent another shock upset like World No. 1 Djokovic’s 1st round exit, as he powered through 44 minutes of the 2nd set to secure it 6-4 before clinching the deciding 3rd set 6-2 to sail through to the semi-final rounds.
This victory keeps him well on course for his second singles gold at the Olympics, eight years since he had first achieved the honour in Beijing 2008.