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An extraordinary match, to close day 4 at IBI21. Good night!
21:19 – When the champion is close to victory, he play at his best. Nadal forces incredible pace to the rallies and take high risks. Leads 30-40, it’s Match Point! Sinner defends very well, once, twice and three times, even with a splendid drop shot! But on the fourth match point, Nadal boosts a sudden and terrific forehand down the line. Sinner can do nothing, Game Set Match RAFAAAAAA! Well deserved Champ, but what a splendid match and what a great Sinner tennis! Nadal was forced to play his best tennis to defeat the young Italian.
21:07 – The score turns in a moment in favor of the Majorcan, we are 40-15, with a partial of 10 points to 3. A spectacular left-handed forehand loaded of spin becomes a nightmare for Jannik… Nadal rises from 2-4 to 5-4. The 20-time Grand Slam champion is one step away from victory. Sinner to serve.
21:04 – Eighth game, Rafa increases in intensity, Sinner has a little off. At 30-40 the Spaniard has the chance for the break! He plays a fantastic rally, forces one ball faster and more powerful than the other, until he snatches the decisive shot. BREAK Nadal, 4 all!
20:59 – The second runs on service game. The young Italian is very very very solid, he serves with continuity and with his backhand pushes Rafa away from the baseline. Less intense and aggressive Nadal in return. The score is 4-3 Sinner, on serve.
20:36 – The second set begins on serves. In the third (Nadal on serve), Jannik finds a couple of top rallies that force the Iberian’s errors. 0-30! What a Backhand Sinner! It literally leaves Rafa still, it’s 15-40 and the first break points of the set. Ace Rafa… or not? No! The ball is barely wide. Second serve … Long rally… The Italian, shot after shot, gains an excellent position and forces Rafa to miss. BREAK SINNER, 2-1 and serve. Wow!
20:18 – RAFAAAAA!!!! The Spanish champion secures the first set 7-5, at the seventh set point. Sinner paid the only moment without the first serve, on the decisive break point. A set of STUNNING LEVEL, for quality and intensity. Nadal raised the pace and spin at his best, forcing brutally and taking enormous risks; but Sinner played with extraordinary continuity and quality too. Beautiful match so far.
20:03 – Tenth game, Rafa is SUPER AGGRESSIVE! He pushes ad hard ad he can, forces Sinner far from the baseline and snatches 3 points for 0-40. THREE SET POINTS! Is Sinner trembling? NO! He raises his level at its best, with 5 points in a row, played with class and power, flies 5 all. Clearing three consecutive set points to Rafa is Huge.
19:42 – Fifth game, Sinner breaks Nadal’s serve at the second break point with a splendid forcing in the center, runs forward and closes with a perfect cross volley. 3-2 and Sinner service. Nadal does not give anything, risks in return and gets the immediate counter break. 3 all. The battle is tough, very tough.
19:18 – The first games of the match are BRUTAL. Sinner starts at full blast, 0-30 and 30-40, Breaks the service game from Nadal with a terrific forehand down the line. Rafa is out there, returns full and deep, getting the ball of the counter break. Excellent return and GO! Boosts a forehand winner. 1 all. What a start!
Sinner vs Nadal, here we go!
19:05 – Nadal and Sinner warm up. Halep won the first set 6-1, on 3 all in the second. Simona suffers a physical problem in her left calf. Attention, +++ HALEP RETIRES!!!! +++ She leaves the court accompanied by the staff, what a bad luck Simona !!! The tournament loses the reigning champion.
18:52 – Match Point Shapovalov! Travaglia serves under 3-5, collapses 0-40. 3 match balls for the Canadian. Denis smashes out two returns, but takes the third: the Italian shoots wide a forehand. Shapovalov wins 7-6 6-3, more intense Denis, and above all much better with his serve. Well Done, “Shapo”!
18:46 – Berrettini serves to close the match, ahead 5-2. He plays smooth, his tennis runs easy, powerful and accurate. 30-0 and then 40-0 with another excellent backhand drop shot. Three Match Points! Perfect his first serve, GAME SET MATCH BERRETTINI! Remarkable performance by the Italian, he did not concede any break points, and just his very first service game reached the advantages. He closes with 18 winners (against 5), and above 66% of first serve in. Bravo, Bravissimo Berrettini!
18:28 – Berrettini ON FIRE! The Italian serves at his best, secures the set 6-4 and then continues to push and change pace in return. Grabs a double break, 3-0 and then 4-0. A decisive run, that definitively breaks the match.
18:15 – TIEBREAK TIME. Shapo starts very very strong, 3-1 and then 5-2, with an all-risk forehand (so beautiful!) leave Travaglia meters far from the ball. Serves well Denis: 6-2 and 4 Set Points. Another perfect first serve forces Travaglia to return wide. SET Shapovalov, more accurate and totally offensive in the “Decider”. Well deserved, Denis.
18:07 – Ninth game, Berrettini boost in return, uses the backhand slice sooooo well and breaks Millman’s rhythm. He gets three break points and converts the third, with a perfect drop shot. He serves to close the first set.
17:39 – The third game on Centre court is huge. Matteo flies 0-40, 3 break point, but Millman saves them and moves forward 2-1. 3 all between “Steto” Travaglia and Denis “Showtime” Shapo, the match ran very fast with short exchanges. No break ball.
17:25 – Just strted (1 all) between Shapovalov and Travaglia, no break. On Centre copurt, Millman hold the first, now Berrettini to serve.
17:03 – +++ 3 MATCH POINT PODOROSKA +++ on 0-40 6-5. Serena’s forehand flies away… Nadia smile, she secures a tough match, but overall deserved victory. The American’s adventure at the IBI21 ends immediately. Another upset, black day for the big names today at the Foro Italico in the female draw.
16:58 – Game Set Match Tsitsipas! 6-2 in the second, a very good performance for the Greek. Cilic played well, especially in the first set, but in the second the best form and quality in the service by Stefanos came out. Well done!
16:55 – T-W-E-L-V-E points in a row for Serena, from one step away from defeat to 5 all. Nadia stops “the bleeding” running to the net. Drama built up in this match!
16:48 – SET Swiatek! Iga complete the comeback, from 3-5 to 7-5. Kenin’s day NO continues, down 1-6 1-3 with Krejcikova. Podoroska serve 5-3 to secure the match vs. Serena. Will she make it? …
16:29 – Other matches in progress: the Czech Krejcikova stuns Kenin 6-1 in the first set; Keys 3 set point RIGHT NOW on Swiatek, ahead 5-3 but … she wastes them all and Iga breaks the American! Great effort Swiatek, The score is now 5-4, the Pole to serve.
16:18 – 3 Set Points Tsitsipas! Returning 6-5, the Greek finds the TOP SHOT at the third chance, a powerful forehand return that lands practically on Marin’s “big feet”. 7-5 Tsitsipas in 1h and 3 minutes. 11 W to 6 for Greek. Cilic wins 85% of the points with the first serve, he just 49% in, against 65% out of Stefanos.
16:14 – TIEBREAK TIME, Serena and Nadia play the Decider, many points go against the serve. Nadia sprints ahead, 4-1 and 6-3. 3 set points but doesn’t convert them. No problem, she push harder and harder with forehand and grab a fourth, it’s the good one! 7-6, 8 points to 6 Podoroska. Serena too many ups and downs, she is clearly down as shape, but Nadia played some good tennis so far.
15:51 – Beautiful match so far between Tsitsipas and Cilic. The two play an offensive and all-court tennis on Pietrangeli. The score marks 4-3 “TsiTsi”, no break. Tomljanovic NOW has a break point, leading 4-3 in the second after losing the first. Jelena fights and cancels the chance.
15:47 – Serena saves the set! Podoroska serves 5-4 ahead, the American is not as fast as in her best days, but she fights, pushes her powerful forehand and it’s counter break! 5 even. What a fighter and what a battle on the “Centrale”.
15:31 – Karatsev FAST-N-FURIOUS !!! He serves for the match, ahead 5-4. Easy, all too easy for this “black horse” who is playing fantastic tennis with unreal ease. He closed 6-4. What a match for Aslan, clearly the best today.
15:24 – Andrey Rublev and Lloyd Harris are on the stands to follow Karatsev and Medvedev. Tsitsipas 2-1 ahead on Cilic. DELBONIS! 6-2 6-1 to Goffin, wow. Serena leads 3-2 on Podoroska.
15:00 – Serena IN DA HOUSE! The 4-time champion at the Foro Italico on the Centrale, she faces Nadia Podoroska, revelation at Roland Garros 2020 but not in great shape in the last tournaments. Ostapenko ahead 4-1 in the first over Tomljanovic.
14:55 – Match Point Zverev! Ahead 5-2, the Madrid champion serves to close it here. He wastes the first MP, but the second one it’s OK. Game-Set-Match! Sasha secures a comfortable win, smooth tournament entry for him. The German is in great shape.
14:48 – 6-2 Karatsev. The supremacy of Alsan over Daniil in this first set is clear. Daniil fails to force his rival to miss some groundstrokes, and when he forces from the baseline he does not even find the winner. 93% first serve points for Karatsev, stunning!
14:41 – BOOM BOOM ASLAN! Karatsev suddenly raced into a 4-2 lead. Impressive the speed with which Karatsev arrives on the ball, anticipates and fires groundstrokes with sensational angle and speed. On 4-2 another three break points for him!?! Medvedev miss it! 5-2 with DOUBLE BREAK for Aslan, what a set!
14:21 – Rublev closes 6-4 in the third. A match too complicated for Andrey to enter the tournament. Sabaleka ahead a set (7-5) and a break on Sorribes Tormo.
14:19 – One of the best matches of the day has just begun, the all-Russian clash Medvedev – Karatsev, new comer of 2021. 1 all the score, very fast rallies, the match is a not-to-miss. Zverev in control: 6-2 in the first over Dellien. Delbonis and Goffin have also just started, with an immediate break from the Argentine, 2-0 ahead.
13:57 – Sonego! Lorenzo wins the Italian derby, 6-4 in the second set on Mager. More powerful Sonego, too good with excellent defenses and many rallies leads with his powerful forehand. The hug between the two at the end of the game was beautiful, a fantastic sport moment! BRAVI!
13:48 – Sabalenka ahead 5-4 on Sorribes Tormo, Rublev 4-3 and service in the third. Zverev 2-1 with a break on Dellien. Muguuruza has two break points at 15-40 for the 4 all against Pera … the American cancels both.
13:37 – Serious come back in several matches! Kvitova collapses from a break ahead in the third, now leads Zvonareva 4-2 and serves. Muguruza down 1-4 with two breaks, Pera closes to do it, but the match has changed face many times…
13:19 – 6-1 Rublev, the Russian “puts things right”, coming back to life in the match after the very tough tiebreak lost in the first. Brady retires, Alexandrova passes without playing. Kudmertova one step away from victory, 5-2 in the second over Garcia.
13:12 – OSAKA OUT! Pegula upset the 4-time Grand Slam champion, 6-2 in the second set. A very poor performance for the Japanese, so slow with her feet and not accurate in her drives. The tournament loses a great protagonist. 6-0 Muguruza in the second, Kvitova already ahead of a break in the third on Zvonareva.
12:44 – THIEM! He dominates the third 6-0, no matach at all, Fucsovics totally collapses. An tough first match for the Austrian to entry into the tournament, but to play is the only way to rise his poor shape. Thiem wrote over the camera “Let’s play for the ocean”. The Austrian closes with 27 W and 26 errors, but he needs to grow in intensity if he wants to be big in the tournament.
12:28 – VAMO ROBERTO! Bautista secures the match, 6-3 in the second, beats Garin. Zvonareva 6-4 1-0 vs. Kvitova. Naomi Osaka in trouble: she lost the lead and now she is now fighting 6-5 ahead, with Pegula canceling her two set points (15-40).
12:13 – TIEBREAK TIME on “Centrale”! The official time marks 2 hours of play start. The temperature of the match rises… Thiem on serve, 4-5 down, the moment is crucial! WHAT A RALLY !!!! Slice, drop shot, and BOOOOOM! Thiem finds a winning backhand passing shot, it’s 5 all and then 6-5. SET POINT Thiem. Marton serves, pushes hard …NOOO!?! His ball dies wide. SET THIEM! The Austrian has grown in intensity, but is still not as intense as in his best days.
11:57 – Just started Rublev vs. Struff. The battle between Garin and Bautista continues, 3 all without a break. The match progresses with long, intense reallies, the classic “battle on clay”.
11:40 – Osaka on court! Warm up with Pegula. Svitolina one step to close, leads 5-3. Sakkari again down: after dominating the second (6-1), now Gauff has run away, 3-0, FOUR-ZERO now!
11:27 – UPSET ALERT !!! Fucsovics continues to hammer with power and precision, comes to the net so quick… MANY problems for Thiem! Struggling 1-2, he fires wide a forehand and is BREAK! 3-1 Marton, Big big problems for the Austrian …
11:23 – Pliskova! First W of the day, 6-2 6-3 over Sevastova. Barty serves to close, ahead 5-1 in the second. TIEBREAK between Garin and Bautista, with the Iberian leading 4-1. Svitolina comeback, 2-0 ahead in the third.
10:58 – Hard fighting on the Centre court. Break and counter break between Thiem and Fucsovics, the Austrian fails to play deep shots continuously, alternating excellent spin-laden drive with other shorter balls. Fucsovics very solid, smart and fast on court. The score is 5-3, so good Marton to cancel two break points and take the lead.
10:47 – BREAK Barty, Aussie puts things back in order. It serves 4 all, saves a the counter break point and go ahead 5-4. 4-3 Bautista Agut on Garin, no break.
10:28 – Barty struggles to find het rhythm, misses many shots and has trouble with the serve too. Under 2-3, she must find a good game in return. Bautista Agut and Garin just started but is already a massive battle, huge forehand rallies.
10:15 – Hell of a start for Fucsovics, BREAK in the opening game. Thiem already forced to chase … Shvedova also surprises Barty, snatching her very first serve game. 1 all Sakkari – Gauff, another super match to start the day.
9:55 – Good morning Rome! The fourth day of the IBI21 offers an extraordinary program. A “Parterre de roi” that starts in minutes on “Centrale” with Thiem, opposite to Fucsovics. Barty vs. Shvedova, Sakkari vs. Gauff are about to begin. At lunchtime, the Italian derby Mager vs. Sonego, followed by the super match Medvedev vs. Karatsev. Debut for Serena Williams (vs. Podoroska) just before Berrettini vs. Millman. Today on court Halep, Osaka, Rublev, Zverev, Tsitsipas, Shapovalov and the Match of the Day: Jannik Sinner opposed to Rafael Nadal, to end an incredible day. Prepare the popcorn, it will be a long ride!