Spanish star Rafael Nadal, who stood in his sixteenth semifinal of the 1000 Masters in Rome by beating German Alexander Zverev, considered this Friday that he played "one of his best matches on clay" and that "winning under pressure" increases his confidence.
"When you fight, you usually have some prize. I fought a lot yesterday (against Canadian Denis Shapovalov) and in the end I was able to win and he allowed me to play today. Today I played much better than yesterday, I played more solidly.
It was one of my best matches on clay against a very tough opponent, "Nadal said at the end of the match." It's a great victory, it's important to have won under pressure, because in recent weeks I had lost important points, this week I moved better and I'm super happy, "he added.
Nadal, a nine-time champion in Rome, will face the American Reilly Opelka, number 47, in the semifinals, a powerful player, two meters and eleven centimeters, with a very strong serve. "Opelka is a tough opponent, very complicated, he has a huge serve, I have to be focused on my serve.
We'll see, I know he has a great serve, I have to play well, solid, try to make him play one more shot. They are semifinals of a Masters 1,000, you have to be focused, "he said. The one from Manacor is very happy with how he was able to compete this Friday after an effort of three and a half hours needed the day before to beat Shapovalov, canceling two break balls .
"I have played more games, I have been working well. Beyond the resistance, I lacked a bit of spark and it was what I was looking for. Today again I defended better, I read the game better and that for me is the important thing.
There were many long points, I had the ability to play another ball more inside, "he considered. He also reassured about his condition after he fell during the first set of the match against Zverev and suffered injuries to various parts of the body."
Rafael Nadal on the 2020 French Open
The 2020 French Open was played during September and October amid heavy and humid conditions, which are considered unsuitable for Rafael Nadal's game. But the Spaniard upped the ante and emerged victorious without dropping a set, showing why he is the greatest of all time on clay.
"The conditions at Roland Garros last year were probably the toughest for me, for my style of play, but hey, it wasn't bad at all," Nadal said. "I played very well and I don't think I lost a set. Sometimes things happen that way, but if you ask me what I prefer, I choose to play under normal circumstances without a doubt."