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2019 Rome Masters Semi-Finals Preview, Prediction: Rafael Nadal vs Stefanos Tsitsipas

  • If Nadal brings his A game to tomorrow’s match as he so often does on clay, even the hugely talented Tsitsipas may struggle to keep pace...
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 23:06 IST

Rafael Nadal at International BNL d
Rafael Nadal at International BNL d'Italia 2019

The king of clay Rafael Nadal, desperate to re-establish his reign on clay, meets the young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who had shocked him in Madrid just a week ago.

The Madrid semi-final was the first time that Tsitsipas had got the better of Nadal in their four meetings to date. Previously, he had lost all three matches - one of which was on the clay courts of Barcelona last year.

This Rome Masters has already seen the best of Nadal so many times before and on the evidence of what he has dished up so far in his three matches, it's difficult to believe that he's yet to win a title on clay in three attempts!

His pair of victories over Jeremy Chardy and Nikoloz Basilashvili yesterday were so emphatic that he made them look like amateurs. At the beginning of his match against fellow left-handed Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, it appeared as though Nadal wasn't at his best.

Losing his very first service game, he became increasingly confident as the game progressed - eventually pocketing another win where he bagelled Verdasco in the second set. By the time the match ended, Nadal had broken him five times and increased his level - ensuring he will go into tomorrow's semi-final clash quite fresh, despite having had to play three matches in the space of two days.

On the other hand, his opponent had a walkover courtesy of Roger Federer's injury and will be raring to go while eager to prove his win over Nadal in Madrid was not a flash in the pan.

However, should Nadal bring his A game in tomorrow's encounter as he so often does on clay, even the hugely-talented Tsitsipas could struggle to keep pace.

Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in three sets

Published 17 May 2019, 22:17 IST
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