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Nadal eyes ninth Rome title

This content was published 3 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Rafael Nadal advanced to his 11th final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Spaniard has looked in imperious form all week, dropping just six games in his first three matches, and he was impressive again in the semi-finals as he avenged the defeat he suffered at the hands of the same opponent last week in one hour 42 minutes.

The world No. 2 found answers to everything the Greek player threw at him, keeping him behind the baseline and allowing his forehand up the line to do the most damage. For the No. 8 seed it was another steep learning curve and he showed signs of frustration as he wasn’t able to impose his game as he had done so effectively in Madrid.

In the end it took just one early break in each set to make the difference. Nadal grasped his opportunities when he had the chance, something his opponent was unable to do. Tsitsipas’ only break points came in the third game of the opening set, the eight-time Italian Open champion saving one with a forehand winner while the second was lost when Tsitsipas sent a backhand return wide.

“I played little bit better than him. As I said yesterday, you asked me what I have to do. What I had to do is play well. Last week I didn’t play very well in Madrid. Today I did better,” explained Nadal.

“In general terms, is important victory for me because I played a solid match against a good player and a player who is winning lot of matches in this surface. So win in straight sets against him is a very positive result. More than this is a feeling that I am playing better every week, every day. That’s important for me.”

Nadal will face either world No. 1 Novak Djokovic or Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in Sunday’s final as he seeks his first title of 2019.

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