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Nadal overcomes illness and Lopez to make quarters

This content was published 13 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.

After almost succumbing to a qualifier in the second round, Rafael Nadal had two hurdles to overcome on Thursday – opponent Feliciano Lopez and a bad case of fever.

“I had fever last night, this morning. I didn’t know if I should go on court and I decided at the last moment,” said the five-time Rome champion. “I practised at 11:30 just for 15 minutes and then I decided to go on court. This is the second time this year (that Nadal has been ill at a tournament). Normally I have no problems with the changes and going very fast between the different places, but in the past few months that is not possible for the body and probably that is what is happening. And certainly I didn’t really understand why yesterday I felt slow and without energy and I understand now better today. (Yesterday against Paolo Lorenzi), I played bad because I played bad. That is first. Secondly I wasn’t playing with the normal energy for me. In tennis, movement and the power and the legs are one of the most important things and I felt terrible, and today I didn’t feel perfect but a little bit better.”

Nadal’s performance on Centre Court certainly was a notch or two above his lacklustre effort against Lorenzi on Wednesday, and despite a brief lapse where he was broken back in the middle of the first set, he seemed on much sharper form. “I don’t feel perfect right now and a little bit worse than during the match but that is normal. Hopefully everything will go well tomorrow and I will be okay – you never know because sometimes it last one day and other times for three or five days. If this lasts for five days then I’ll see you in Roland Garros! If it is for one day or two days, I’m going to try for sure.”

“We have the Roland Garros in a week and half,” said Nadal of the French Open, another clay-court tournament which he has won five times. “In 2009 I didn’t arrive in perfect condition because I had problems with my knee but this year I don’t have physical problems. I have a virus now and I don’t see why I won’t be in perfect condition in one and a half weeks.”

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