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Nadal ready for another battle with Shapovalov

Just like in 2021, Rafael Nadal will face Denis Shapovalov for a spot in quarter-finals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Hard to find any flaw in today’s performance from Nadal who left only 4 games to big-serving John Isner in his 6-3 6-1 victory. The Spaniard, however, felt that the match did not leave him with the right feelings and immediately went on to hit the practice courts.

I need to recover things that I missed because of the injury, of course. I need to work as much as I can to be ready for in a couple of weeks”, he explained backing up the reasons he had given earlier this week: “The only way for me to give myself a chance to recover the level that I want to recover, or I want to reach, is to work. The match today was not that strong physically or demanding physically, so I felt myself a little bit more can keep helping”.

In a sort of deja-vu, the defending champion will face Canada’s Shapovalov in the same round as 12 months ago, when Nadal found himself on the ropes just to run away with the victory after a third-set tiebreak: “last year I was super lucky. Was a match that he had in his hands plenty of times. I don’t remember exactly, but I remember that was almost a miracle”.

For the Spaniard, however, it is not about that match-up or the memories from last year, but rather a full focus on finding his best form: “For me today is not about which player I have in front; it’s about trying to improve every single day. Tomorrow is another day with a chance to play better. That’s the main goal today, no: be better and better, try to reach a higher level every single day. Tomorrow I going to have a tough test with a great player. Is an opportunity for me to keep trying. That’s what I going to do”.

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