Rafael Nadal badly beaten in Rome

Rafael Nadal badly beaten in Rome
Rafael Nadal badly beaten in Rome

Rafaeal Nadal failed to advance through the second round on the clay court of Rome. He was outclassed by the Pole Hubert Hurkacz 9th in the world rankings.

The Spaniard struggled to get going, losing the first set, 6-1.

More combative in the second round, the time to regain all his physical sensations, he was however not enough to worry the Pole who easily advanced to the third round after an hour and 28 minutes of effort.

Hurkacz won 83% of the rallies on his first service ball and managed 9 aces (compared to only one for Nadal, visibly cautious in his movement).

Nadal played with commitment and will this first match against a member of the top 10 in a year and a half, but it was not enough. He made a lot of errors, especially on his drop shots, and offered service breaks to his opponent.

The day was tough for me because I thought I was more ready than I was, Nadal said honestly. I was too unpredictable. I haven’t played enough in the last two years. There are too many doubts in my game.

Enough to sow doubt about his participation in the French Open, the second round of the grand slam, which begins in two weeks.

Physically I have problems, but not serious enough to say that I will not play the most important tournament of my career (in Paris), said the Spaniard. We’ll see what happens, how I feel tomorrow, in a week.

There are two options. One is to say: “I’m not playing well enough, I’m not ready”, and the decision is not to play Roland-Garros, he said. The other (option) is to accept where I am now, to work in the right way to be ready in two weeks.

The decision, as you can imagine, is not clear in my mind today. If I have to tell you what I’m thinking right now, I think I’ll go to ParisNadal said.

It was the first clash between Nadal and Hurkacz, and therefore the first victory of the Executioner of legends against the king of clay.

We already nickname the Pole like that. He was in fact the last player to face in an official match, and therefore beaten, Roger Federer, in the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon tournament in 2021.

Playing against Rafael is a unique moment, especially on clay where he has such a track record, and he has become a legend. I’m really happy with this victorysaid the winner of the day.

Hurkacz will face Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry, 28th in the world, in the next round.

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Will Félix Auger-Aliassime start his tournament on the right foot?

Photo: Associated Press / Sven Hoppe

Remember that Félix Auger-Aliassime will take his first steps in the Roman tournament on Saturday. He will face the Dutchman Botic Van de Zandschulp, 113th in the world.

This is the fourth match scheduled on the Pietrangeli court.

This will be their fourth clash, the first on clay. The Montrealer leads the series two wins to one (three matches on hard court).

Djokovic cautious

Serbian Novak Djokovic returned to the stadium on Saturday, the day after the incident he suffered on Friday after his match.

A water bottle that slipped from a fan’s bag accidentally hit him on the head while he was signing autographs.

He later understood that it was an accident and was left with a bruise that was quickly treated with surgical glue.

On Saturday, he made the audience laugh by appearing with a bicycle helmet on his head.

Today I preparedhe wrote on his social networks.

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Results of other matches:

Second round (men’s singles):

  • Nicolás Jarry (CHI/no 21) beats Matteo Arnaldi (ITA) 6-2, 7-6 (8/6)
  • Tomás Etcheverry (ARG/no 25) beats Thiago Wild (BRA) 6-3, 7-5
  • Tommy Paul (USA/no 14) beats Aslan Karatsev (RUS) 6-4, 6-2
  • Hamad Medkedovic (SRB) defeats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP/no 30) 7-6 (7/4), 6-4
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