Nadal arrives in time to get into the quarterfinals

The standard version of Nadal appeared before the first major enemy, Fognini, whom he defeated without apparent discomfort. His next opponent will be Tsitsipas.

Nadal-arrives-in-time-to-get-into-the-quarterfinals

The hard days of treatment, with infiltrations in the back and a visit to the hospital, have given results to Rafa Nadal, who is the same as always, with all his natural mechanisms in operation. He faced the first true rival to meet at the Australian Open on Monday. In conditions that came to the hair, during the day and with warmth, the Spaniard beat Fabio Fognini in three sets (6-3, 6-4 and 6-2 in 2:16) and will play the quarterfinals for the 13th time of the tournament (43rd Grand Slam overall), an achievement that places him in third place in history, tied with Jack Crawford and Adrian Qist, and only behind Roger Federer (15) and John Newcombe (14) .

For that hot round awaits rival and it will be quite good: Stefanos Tsitsipas, who went through the retirement of Matteo Berrettini (another abdominal injury) before playing. "They are young, strong and energetic," said Nadal, who was hit without too much effort, both from the drive and, especially, from the backhand, great news; He credited very good service percentages with higher speeds than in previous meetings (he reached 201 km / h) and in terms of mobility, his legs already performed with the dynamism that he expected. Good feelings for what is coming and more options to reach your goals, which are always the highest.

Before Fognini, a friend whom he had faced 16 times before (15-2 now on the balance sheet), Rafa went from less to more. Before starting, the tournament doctors alarmed everyone by appearing on the court and asking Nadal what he needed. Fortunately it was a mistake, because he had not asked for assistance. "It will be on another track," he said. After this anecdote, he began a work of undermining that inexorably wore down the forces of a rival who had been punished for a very hard match against his compatriot Caruso and who beat De Miñaur in three sets with more effort than indicated by the scoreboard. The Italian had arrests to play face to face with the Spanish, who hit first with a break answered by Fabio later. Nadal immediately managed the counterbreak and secured the first set with five unforced errors.

Turning point

In the second heat, the world number two conceded a dangerous break because it was 4-2 for Fognini. However, it was the turning point that put the rest of the match in his favor, because from there there was no more story than that dictated by the winner of 20 Grand Slams. A 10-2 run ended the waning resistance of San Remo, who surrendered unconditionally given the evidence that he was not going to be able to repeat the feat of coming back from 2-0 to Nadal as he did at the 2015 US Open. The last game, with Rafa in a sweeping plan, left a magnificent impression. It seems that the legend arrives on time. Be careful with him.

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Photos from as.com
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