Nadal falls to Schwartzman one week from Roland Garros

The Peque played a great game and took advantage of the bad night of the champion with the serve to defeat him in the quarterfinals after a previous 9-0 by 6-2 and 7-5.


"I don't put a first, like I'm going to win!" Rafa Nadal was heard shouting at the start of the second set, on an empty stage. And so it was. He lost to Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals of the Masters 1,000 in Rome. Peque did not stop firing bullets throughout the game until he was awarded it fairly by 6-2 and 7-5 in 2h: 03. Nadal, who returned to the competition at the Foro Italico after a 200-day stoppage for the pandemic, will arrive at Roland Garros with the baggage of only three games. He had scheduled his rentrée in Madrid, but the tournament was suspended. And only Rome remained on his program. In Paris, the defense of his title awaits him from next Sunday, the chance to win the Musketeers Cup for the thirteenth time and to equal 20 Grand Slams with Roger Federer. A great challenge with few kilometers on his legs.

Schwartzman (15th in the world) appeared before Nadal with the slab of a 9-0 against, but it did not weigh him down. The Buenos Aires fan, Boca fan and as much an admirer of Nadal's fierceness as Juan Román Riquelme's tempo, was not daunted by the idol, who was not the fantastic player who destroyed Pablo Carreño in his debut and easily liquidated Lusan Lajovic after. He lost his serve five times. He opened many slits, and through them the canchero Argentine player slipped.

On the Central Court, Schwartzman slipped like gunpowder on his shoes. With the sound of crickets in the background, without an audience to cheer for his fantastic performance, he was able to take advantage of the bad game with Nadal's serve. In the first set, the Spaniard only put into play 46% of first serves. He only won 58% first and 36% second. Opposite, the Peque (1.65 m.) Grew. And with two breaks and running the backhand well, he won the first round.

In the second set, what was expected was the typical Nadal epic exercise, of that tennis player who when he plays badly also solves matches. He was left half. The Peque served for 5-3, and Nadal called. He did it to win at 5-4. And the one from Manacor forced the tie. But he went back to get another chance to win at 6-5, and he did not give it up. Too easy to throw overboard. The number two finished with 31 unforced errors and only 21 winners, 48% of points won with first and 44% with second. A reef for the Argentine, who also played with many resources and intelligence. Denis Shapovalov, who beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 3-6 and 7-6 (5), will be measured this Sunday (7:00 p.m., Movistar Deportes) for a place in the final.

Nadal does not lose points in the ranking, thanks to the ATP 'truce' due to the pandemic despite being the champion. But he will arrive at Roland Garros with doubts and little filming. His main rival, Djokovic, will be in the semifinals. Although Paris is always another story ...

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