'Rafael Nadal would have won anyway', says ATP ace



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'Rafael Nadal would have won anyway', says ATP ace

Marin Cilic is Croatian, but in Russia he feels like home. The former world No. 3 reached the final in Moscow last week, and on Thursday he faced the quarterfinals in St. Petersburg. Cilic edged local favorite Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-4 to advance to the last eight.

"It was an incredible game, great level from both sides," said Cilic in his interview on the court. “Karen played very, very well and on some occasions she [had] a bit of bad luck. In the third set she had a break point at 1-1, then 40/0 in my game.

One or two points here and there [made the difference], but I must say it was definitely a great match. "Khachanov pushed hard to continue his home run, where he took a 4-1 lead in the deciding set with aggressive play.

of the. But Cilic reacted to claim the last five games and with them the match after two hours and 30 minutes. Cilic won the St. Petersburg title in his most recent appearance at the event in 2011. But with players like top seed Andrey Rublev still in the picture, the Croatian is not getting ahead of himself.

“Everybody is playing well. The tournament is great. It's the end of the season, so everyone wants to finish at a great level," said Cilic. "For me it was great to play this type of match today." Speaking in an interview with Punto de Break, Fernando Verdasco simply answered "Rafael Nadal" when asked to name his toughest ever opponent.

Verdasco speaks about Nadal

Fernando Verdasco recently said Rafael Nadal is the toughest opponent he has faced in his entire career, while joking about how dominant he has been at Roland Garros. Verdasco also talked about his matchup against Roger Federer, claiming that he wouldn't have had zero wins against the Swiss if he had played against him more often.

"I imagine this will depend a lot on who says it, others will say that Feliciano (Lopez) has more talent, others will say that Rafael Nadal," Verdasco said. "In Spain we have had the great luck of having several generations with brutal talent; if you listen to foreigners talking about us you will see that they tend to define us as gladiators, as physically tough guys."

Fernando Verdasco was later asked about Ken Rosewall's comments that Rafael Nadal would not have been able to defeat Roger Federer so often if he was right-handed. Verdasco responded by claiming that his compatriot always had the game to defeat Federer, irrespective of which side he played from. "With his physique and mental strength, he would have won anyway," Verdasco said.