This content was published 3 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.
Rafael Nadal was in sensational form on Friday night at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, dropping just four games as he made lightwork of Dusan Lajovic 6-1 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals at the Foro Italico for the 15th time.
The nine-time Italian Open champion was relentless as he played aggressive tennis, hit the ball harder than usual and kept the Serb pinned behind the baseline. He maintained constant pressure on his opponent’s serve, earning break points in almost all of his games, and came up with answers to everything Lajovic threw at him.
Lajovic, the world No.25 and former Monte Carlo runner-up, played well throughout the 91-minute affair, contributing to some pulsating rallies and maintaining a positive attitude as he tried to construct winning points and find a way back into the match.
The 42-minute opening set was closer than the scoreline suggested, A couple of tough games at the beginning saw the two players exchange breaks before an 11 minute battle in the fourth game went Nadal’s way. The Spaniard maintained his momentum, breaking once more to seal the opener.
Nadal raced to a 4-0 lead in the second but Lajovic never gave up and managed to win three games – including recording a break of serve for 4-2 – before succumbing to a straight sets defeat.
The No.2 seed will face No.8 seed Diego Schwartzman, who he has defeated in all nine of their previous meetings, in the quarter-finals.
“I played two good solid matches, no? I played at I think a very positive level of tennis. Of course it needs to keep improving. I need to keep working in a couple of things that things are not coming automatic. But I can’t ask for more, no? Have been another great evening for me against another good opponent. Can’t complain at all, no?” said Nadal.