Italian Open: Rafael Nadal Saves Two Match Points To Beat Denis Shapovalov And Reaches Rome Quarter-Finals

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Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal saved two match factors to defeat Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in a three-set battle and advance to the quarter-finals of the Italian Open on Thursday. Second seed Nadal gained via 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) after practically 3hr 30min on court docket towards the Thirteenth-seeded Shapovalov.  “It was a really difficult match, the score was against me almost all the time, but I was there, I was fighting all the time, I didn’t give away anything,” mentioned the 34-year-old.

The Spaniard will probably be making his sixteenth last-eight look in Rome. It may even be his 97th ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final.

Nadal trailed by 0-4 within the opening set, and 0-3 within the second.

Shapovalov additionally broke for 3-1 within the third set however Nadal broke again instantly and held on regardless of two match factors towards him within the twelfth sport to pressure a tie-break.

Nadal’s expertise within the high-pressure moments paid off towards the 22-year-old who had overwhelmed him of their first assembly in Montreal in 2017.

“It’s an important victory for me. Be able to win matches like today, long matches,” mentioned the 20-time Grand Slam winner.

“To be able to win these kind of matches against young players give me confidence with my body.”

Nadal will subsequent play both Germany’s Alexander Zverev, the sixth seed, or Japan’s Kei Nishikori for a spot within the semi-finals.

Nadal misplaced to Zverev within the Madrid Masters quarter-finals final week.

For Shapovalov it was a “tough loss” with solely “one or two points” the distinction within the conflict of left-handers.

“It’s just a tough loss but who’s going to give me crap for losing to Rafa?” mentioned the Canadian who gained his solely ATP title in Stockholm in 2019.

“It’s not the first time Rafa’s done this. I’m not the first person to lose with match points.

“That’s why he is gained so many matches on clay. I imply, clearly he is a terrific participant. There’s no query about that, a tricky one.

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“For sure he does well with the pressure in those moments.

“But I’m positively proud of the place my sport’s at, comparatively talking, towards the best participant on this floor.”

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