No.2 seed Rafael Nadal continues his campaign for 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open 2021. However, a 34-years-old tennis legend from Manacor has now booked his seat in the quarter-final following a straight-set win over Fabio Fognini.
“When You Go On The Court Against Fabio Fognini, You Worry,” says Rafael Nadal
Italian has defeated Spaniard thrice on the clay surface while the King of Clay Rafael Nadal met Fognini amid enormous expectations for a quarter-final spot on Monday.
During the second round, No.16 seed took 4-2 lead due to the 2009 Australian Open champion’s double fault and forehand error, but the mistakes were impermanent. Rafael Nadal gained momentum to win the four games in the straight line and became a match leader (2-0).
The 20-time Grand Slam champion quickly claimed the third set after losing two games and entering his 43rd Grand Slam quarterfinals at the Australian Open 2021.
“When you go on the court against Fabio, you worry. There can always be problems. I was just lucky that when he broke me (in the second set), I responded immediately and held the score. Today it was very humid and quicker during the day, which I like, but I have to adapt to every condition,” Rafael Nadal said in the post-match interview.
“Today’s Win Was Good For My Confidence”, Nadal on Facing Stefanos Tsitsipas
For a semifinal place, Former World No.1 will now face No.5 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who has advanced to Down Under major event’s quarterfinal after Italian Matteo Berrettini withdrew.
Speaking ahead of the next round match, Rafa expressed, “It will be a big challenge, and today’s win was good for my confidence. I will need to be ready. My back is holding up, and tomorrow’s practice will be essential preparation.”
Since the beginning of this year’s ATP Cup, Rafael Nadal has been struggling with injury. As a result, World No.2 could not practise adequately for more than two weeks.
“(The) first set, without a doubt, was my best level in the tournament. My physical condition needs to keep improving, but I think (today’s) match helps. I could not practice the proper way for the past 19 days, but yesterday I started again to increase the amount of work in practice,” the 13-time Roland Garros champion concluded.
However, Rafael Nadal leads Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-1 in their head-to-head record.