Rafael Nadal: ‘I Can Achieve Anything’ - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal: ‘I Can Achieve Anything’

Things are on the up for the 11-time French Open champion.



Rafael Nadal (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

MADRID: After what has been a turbulent past few weeks on the tour, Rafael Nadal is finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.


An injury forced him out of two American tournaments during March, the start to the clay season hasn’t gone as well as he would have liked, and earlier this week he was hit with a stomach virus. It is fair to say that 2019 has been far from perfect for the world No.2.

Despite those misfortunes, Nadal is quietly gaining in confidence at the Madrid Open this week. Bidding to claim his first title of the season, the belief has not lessened for the Spaniard. Who has spent a total of 196 weeks at the top of the ATP rankings so far in his career.

“Personally, I’m feeling very well, which is the most important thing besides anything else. And from that base, I think that I can achieve anything.” Nadal said on Thursday.
“You have to be good emotionally. You need to have the energy to be able to go forward. Right now I have it, I have the joy, I have the energy to be able to do it. And after all, you have to go through a process, you need to give yourself some time. I’m not a big believer that things click night to day.” He added.

Nadal continued his love affair with the Madrid Open on Thursday. Disposing of Next Gen player Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-4, to expand his winning record against the group to 21-2. During the match, he broke twice, once in each set, as the Spaniard blasted six aces and 17 winners past Tiafoe. Nadal is now 18-0 when it comes to playing North American players on the clay.

“There is a really key thing, which is the stability. I think that I have again the stability. I have been able to play two matches pretty solid. I haven’t done super good things, but I haven’t committed any errors.” He commented on his Madrid run so far.
“This is the base of my game. From that base, I have to just keep on going, keep on improving, keep going ahead, keep adding ingredients to the game I have right now, which is quite good.’
“If I manage to add the proper ingredients quickly, I will be ready to compete for both this week and next week in Rome, too.”

In the quarter-finals, Nadal will play Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka in what will be their 21st meeting on the tour. Nadal currently leads their head-to-head 17-3 and last lost to him at the 2015 Paris Masters. Wawrinka defeated Kei Nishikori in his third round match earlier in the day.

“It’s a challenge to play him on the clay court. I have played him many times. It’s always difficult to play him.” The three-time grand slam champion said of playing Nadal.
“I’m happy the way I’m playing so far. I’m happy to be in the quarterfinal again, gaining confidence little by little. I know I’m playing well. I know I’m physically good, so we will see.”

Wawrinka, who is a former French Open champion, has the skills to be Nadal’s biggest challenge on the clay yet. Despite their seemingly one-sided head-to-head. The Swiss player is yet to drop a set in three matches played this week.

“I expect a very tough match. He is playing with confidence. It will be a tough one. He likes to play here in these conditions, fast court. And it will be a tough one.”

As a result of his latest win, five-time champion Nadal is now has a 36-6 win-loss record when it comes to playing at the Caja Magica. He has won the title more times than any other player in the history of the tournament.

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Alexander Zverev edged past Hugo Dellien to reach the semifinal in Geneva



World number 5 and 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev battled past Bolivian player Hugo Dellien 7-5 3-6 6-3 to reach the semifinal at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open. Zverev is still seeking his first title of the year.


Dellien earned the first break in the second game to take a 3-0 lead. Zverev converted his fourth break-back chance in the fifth game and held his serve to draw level to 3-3. Zverev saved a set point at 3-5 at 3-5, while Dellien was serving at 40-30.

Dellien needed one break in the fourth game to win the second set 6-3. Zverev held serve in the third game at the seventh deuce after seven deuces to take a 2-1 lead. The German player got the decisive break in the fourth game and held his serve at love to build up a 4-1 lead. Zverev never looked back to win the third set 6-3.

“I played very aggressive in the important moments. I was very aggressive also in break points down, This is finally something I was looking for in the last few weeks. I think today I showed it”, said Zverev.

Radu Albot came back from 2-4 down to beat Damir Dzumhur 6-3 7-5. Albot went up a double break in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead. Dzumhur pulled one break back in the sixth game for 2-4, but Albot broke for the third time on her third break point chance to win the first set 6-3.

Dzumhur went up an early break in the first game of the second set. Albot broke back in the eight game to draw level to 4-4 and sealed the win with his second break in the 10th game.

Albot will take on Nicolas Jarry, who dropped just four of his first service points to defeat Taro Daniel 6-1 7-5.



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Nikoloz Basilashvili sets up Lyon semifinal against Felix Auger Aliassime



Four-time ATP Tour finalist Nikoloz Basilashvili secured his spot in the semifinal where he will face Felix Auger Aliassime in Lyon


Basilashvili came back from an early break down to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 6-4 in the quarter final of the Parc Auvergne Rhone Alpes Lyon.

Tsonga got an early break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead, but Basilashvili recovered from the early start by breaking serve twice in the third and seventh games to take a 4-3 lead. The Georgian player held his final two service games at 30 to close out the opening set 6-4.

Basilashvili needed only a break in the third game of the second set to clinch the second set 6-4 to reach his first semifinal since winning the China Open in 2018.

Basilashvili set up a semifinal clash against this year’s Rio de Janeiro finalist and Miami Open champion Felix Auger Aliassime, who edged Steve Johnson 6-4 2-6 6-4. Auger Aliassime got a break of serve in the third game to clinch the opening set 6-4. Johnson bounced back by breaking twice in the second and eighth game to claim the second set 6-2. Auger Aliassime went up a double break in the third and fifth games to build up a 5-2 lead, but Johnson pulled one break back in the eighth game, when the 18-year-old player was serving for the match. Auger Aliassime served out for the match 6-4 in the 10th game.

Benoit Paire battled past Denis Shapovalov 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-4) in 1 hour and 55 minutes. Paire broke serve twice in the fifth and ninth games to seal the opening set 6-3. Shapovalov claimed his only break in the fifth game to win the second set 6-4. Paire saved a total of three break points in the first and third games. Both players held on their service games en route to the tie-break. Paire reeled off the final three points from 4-4 to claim the tie-break 7-4.

Taylor Fritz fought back from one set down to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-4 after two hours and five minutes. Bautista Agut fended off one set point at 5-6 to take the tie-break of the opening set. Fritz fought back to open up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game to claim the second set 6-4. The US player earned the decisive break in he ninth game to secure his spot in his first semifinal since the 2018 Chengdu Open.



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Tomas Berdych to Miss French Open For The First Time Since 2003

It will be the third grand slam the former top 10 player has missed within the past 12 months.



Tomas Berdych (photo by chryslène caillaud)

Former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych will not play any clay court tournaments in 2019 after withdrawing from the upcoming French Open.


The 33-year-old has been absent from the tour since his first round loss to Feliciano Lopez in Indian Wells. Berdych has been hampered by issues within his back in recent weeks. He has been hoping to be fit in time for Roland Garros, but made a decision to withdraw from the event on Wednesday.

“I am not 100% ready to play the way I want and need to be competitive on the courts I love so much,” Berdych wrote on social media.
“I came to Paris and I had to take a tough decision and want another few days to fully recover and be ready for the grass season.”
“I love this tournament so much but I have to make sure not to further injure myself,” he added.

The Czech had played at the tournament every year since making his debut back in 2004. However, the French Open is his worst performing grand slam in terms of wins. So far in his career, Berdych has won 25 out of 40 matches played at the French Open. His stand out performance occurred in 2010 when he reached the semi-finals before losing to Sweden’s Robin Soderling.

It is not the first time back issues have forced Berdych out of action. In 2017 he was advised by doctors to end his season early due to persistent ‘back pain.’ He was also forced to skip both Wimbledon and the US Open due to the same problem.

Berdych, who last won a title at the 2016 Shenzhen Open, has played six tournaments so far this year. His best result occurred in January with a run to the final of the Qatar Open. He also reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and was a semi-finalist in Montpellier.

As a result of his absence, Berdych is currently ranked 100th in the world rankings. He will be replaced in the French Open draw by a lucky loser.

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