Rafael Nadal reaches the semi-finals of the Italian Open, where he will face Reilly Opelka. Thus, the Spanish Maestro is being cautious to face the American’s ‘unreturnable serve’.
The Spaniard played against Alexander Zverev in the previous round, against whom Rafa lost in the quarter-finals in Madrid. However, Nadal avenged his defeat this time, winning with a straight-set of 6-3, 6-4.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) May 14, 2021
Now, Rafa will go head-to-head against World No. 47, and this will be the first encounter between the Spaniard and the American. The ‘King of Clay’ needs to pull up his socks, as he might have a hard time against a strong server like Opelka. Further, The American defeated Federico Delbonis with a score of 7-5, 7 (7)-6 (2) in the quarter-finals.
Even Rafael Nadal reported, “[I will face] a big chance against a player who has almost an unreturnable serve. [Reilly] is playing well.”
“I need to be very focussed with my serve and then try to be ready to accept [the situation] and be [engaged] on the return. That is what I am looking for,” Rafa further commented.
What is up for Rafael Nadal besides the Italian Open?
Rafa is aiming for the upcoming Roland Garros, thus winning a few titles prior to the Grand Slam will boost his morale. However, he failed at most of the tournaments and only claimed a single title this year at Barcelona Open. Thus, winning the Italian Open is quite necessary for the Spaniard Maestro.
Apart from the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Nadal needs to work on his form as he dropped from the second rank to third at the ATP Rankings. Currently, the Serbian maestro, Novak Djokovic, is acing the table, while Daniil Medvedev is behind him, who recently overtook Rafa.
Rafael Nadal needs to gear up to play against the current top two players and even his old rival Roger Federer, along with the next generation at the 2021 French Open.
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