The semifinal of the Italian Open will not be short of the final. This time, we will see Rafael Nadal fighting it off against Novak Djokovic, playing it off for a spot in the finals.
Nadal avoided a defeat from the Italian Fabio Fongini before the match to secure a place in the final four. In the beginning, the game looked easy for the World no. 2 but as the game progressed, it looked like he will have a tough time against the local player. He was leading the first set of the game 4-1 before Fongini unloaded his strokes and won five straight games to win the set 4-6. However, Spaniard came back in form to even the tally with a 6-1 win and the win the third decisive set by 6-2.
After breaking Fongini, the Spanish player never looked back. In the past five meetings between the two players, he has always emerged victorious. The World no. 21, Italian talent didn’t leave any stones untuned to make it a great game. He didn’t have the answer to Nadal’s power game. While the Spaniards looked in top shape, the Italian was struggling with an injury in his left knee which didn’t let him answer power for power. He eased off as the game moved on and despite having two advantage points over the no. 2, he couldn’t convert it for a win.
Nadal will have some rest before he finally moves to the semifinal. However, his opponent for the match, Novak Djokovic will not be so lucky. In his quarter final match against Kei Nishikori, he dropped the first set in a surprising fashion. The Serbian player, much like his semis opponent, came back with a bang to win the game 2-6, 6-1, 6-3. He may be more tired than the Spanish man as the heated clash left him fatigued.
The last time these two met was in a game was in Madrid Masters in 2017. Nadal emerged as the winner with a 6-2, 6-4 victory. The results could be similar this time as well, unless the Serb finds his form again and gets some rest before he could manage an upset and extract revenge of the previous game.
The third player who qualified for the semis is Marin Cilic who defeated Pablo Carreno Busta in an easy 6-3, 6-2 victory to cement his spot in the top four. The Croatian tried his best to bring his best foot forward but could not match the serve of the World No. 5.
Cilic will be facing off against the defending champion and second seeded Alexander Zverev. The German player beat the British number one Kyle Edmund. The young player has made quite a name for himself playing in the past one year, moving into the top 20 just this past week. However, his game wasn’t enough to handle the German. The match was one of the most demanding of the quarter finals but Zverev. For the German, it was a 11th straight victory in back to back tournaments after he won in Madrid and Munich earlier this year. Edmund, however, became the first opponent to break Zverev’s 65 service games.
Nadal and Djokovic’s match is scheduled for Saturday.