Rafael Nadal overcomes the obstacle of the giant Reilly Opelka and sails towards the 52nd Masters 1000 final of his career, the twelfth at the Foro Italico where he will go in search of the tenth success and where, probably, he will find his long-time rival Novak Djokovic who could share with him the sixth Roman final.
Called to the most difficult exam of his week of grace, Opelka loses as it was predictable. After all, the good Reilly had one in front of the five hundredth game on red in his career with 457 victories (458 with today), which means a% that exceeds 91%.
In short, it was impossible. Frankly, you couldn't ask for more than a double 6-4 in one hour and 32 minutes of play from the good Opelka. Opelka’s departure, however, is furious, in line with what has been seen during this magical week for the American.
He is, in fact, the Florida giant who has the first chance of the match when in the fourth game with beating he gets to have four break points, all canceled with authority by the Majorcan. As a script already seen several times, after the wasted chance comes the punishment and, if on the other side there is Nadal, the rule is almost certain: two or three slightly long blows and a passerby from the Spaniard are enough for Rafa to hit the ball.
first break suffered by Opelka in the Roman week. And that's enough for him to get his hands on the first set, archived for 6-4 after 50 minutes. Since the last break point conceded, Nadal has no longer lost any points at bat.
The American plays less than one in two first and, of course, with the second the yield is just over 50%. In the second set the percentage collapses to 33%, Nadal does not let him repeat it and at the third chance on 1-1 claws the break that is substantially worth the game.
The backhand of Opelka that glides one meter beyond the back line gives Rafa an advantage that the Spaniard carefully guards until he certifies access to the final at the Internationals of Italy with a new 6-4.
Rafael Nadal lauded the Internazionali BNL d'Italia
Rafael Nadal also admitted that he knew his early exchanges with Opelka would be tricky, and insisted that it was tough to make inroads against the big-serving American as he was in his element.
"Well, it's always a big challenge playing against these kind of players. Similar, [I've] played against Isner, Karlovic, probably a little bit different 'cause Reilly is able to play very well from the baseline too, no?" Rafael Nadal said.
The Spaniard has won some classic duels at the Foro Italico in the past, fending off his top claycourt rivals like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Guillermo Coria in high-quality championship matches. "But yeah, super happy to be back in a final," Rafael Nadal said.
"Here in Rome, is one of the important places of my tennis career and one of the most historic tournaments in our tour, no? So, it means a lot to me and I will try to play a solid match tomorrow."