Following the semi-final losses in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, world no. 2 and five-time Madrid champion Rafael Nadal advanced to the fifth semi-final of 2019 in front of the home fans, defeating a former finalist Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-2 in swift 68 minutes.
It was the best match for Rafa on his favorite surface in the first three events two years ago, dominating both serve and return to leave the Swiss far behind and scoring the 18th win over Stan in 21 matches. Nadal celebrated the 372nd Masters 1000 triumph and the 52nd in Madrid, dropping seven points on serve and never experiencing problems in his games.
Moving well and controlling the pace in the rallies, the Spaniard seized 56% of the return points to notch four breaks from ten opportunities and bring the match home in no time at all.
Rafael Nadal lost only three games against Stan Wawrinka in Madrid 2019.
They had a similar number of winners, and mistakes were the element that determined the winner, with Rafa staying on six and Stan counting to 24, spraying most of those from his forehand that couldn't do much against stable and persistent strokes from the other side of the net.
As a result suggests, Nadal had the upper hand in the quickest, mid-range and more extended exchanges, doing everything right on the court and giving his fans hope he could go all the way in Madrid after failing to reach the final in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
Nadal held at 15 in the first game and secured another hold at 1-1 to remain ahead. Wawrinka suffered a break at love in game four following a double fault, and Rafa opened a 4-1 gap with a perfect drop shot. Unable to find the range or open space, the Swiss sprayed a forehand error at 1-4 for another break at love, allowing Nadal to close the opener with a hold in the next game for 6-1 in 27 minutes.
Nothing changed in the second set, and the Spaniard grabbed a break at 2-2 after some stunning defense and Stan's forehand mistake. Nadal forged another break in the seventh game and moved over the top with a hold at love a few minutes later, blasting a service winner to set Stefanos Tsitsipas clash in the semi-final.