Rafa Nadal strong once again, has qualified for the semifinals of the Masters tournament after defeating current champion Stefanos Tsitsipas by 6-4 , 4-6 and 6-2 in a match that went from more to less.
The Spaniard thus finished second in his group at the ATP Finals in London and will meet the Russian Daniil Medvedev.
This Thursday, the two players came out with great intensity, aware that whoever won would go on and whoever lost would be eliminated. But while Tsitsipas dropped a few points, Nadal hardly gave his rival a chance with the serve. He made it clear from his first serve, with a blank game.
Furthermore, when exchanges were prolonged, they almost always fell on the side of the Balearic Islands despite the fact that Tsitsipas starred in the most spectacular blows (in particular with his crossed backhand in suspension).
In the seventh game Nadal had the first break balls, which he could not take advantage of. The next time he made the saying good: the third time was the charm and he got 5-4 and serve.
The world number two remained safe on serve to close the set with a ace (the third; and 16 of 18 points won with his first serve).
The second round continued more or less the same, although with a less frenetic pace.
The two were firm with their serves and they didn't even give a break chance in the first nine games. In the case of the Spanish, he had not left his rival or come close to that possibility. But then, with 5-4 on the scoreboard, the Greek tightened and Nadal made several mistakes at the worst moment including a double fault to lose the set.
The game had changed completely scripted and went to the decisive sleeve with a succession of inaccuracies in service by both contestants. Break by Nadal. Break by Tstistipas. And another break by Nadal.
The Spanish confirmed the advantage and demonstrated his enormous resistance against a rival 12 years younger, who will not be able to defend his title.
Against, the winner of 20 Grand Slams and 35 Masters 1000 will continue to fight for this cup, one of the few that resists him. On Saturday they will face Medvedev for a place in the final.
Also Dominic Thiem is qualified for the semifinals, who with the pass already guaranteed has lost in the previous match of this group day against the Russian Andrey Rublev (6-2, 7-5) .
The Austrian is still waiting to meet his rival, who will come out of the other group, the Tokyo 1970 which this Friday will have an outcome the same as that experienced in London 2020. It will be Novak Djokovic or Alexander Zverev. The winner of the duel between the Serbian and the German (both with residence in Monaco, as Tsitsipas) will meet the champion of the last US Open.