New Delhi: Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal of Spain defeated Reilly Opelka of America 6-4, 6-4 in straight sets to enter the final of the Italian Open for the 12th time. Where they will clash with the winner of the second semi-final between top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Lorenzo Sonego of Italy.
Playing his 500th claycourt match, Nadal won in an hour and 32 minutes. Rafael said that reaching the finals is good for boosting morale. Rafa could not make it to the finals in Montecarlo and Madrid.
Earlier, Djokovic defeated Stephanos Sitsipas of Greece 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 after falling one set in the rain-interrupted quarter-finals on Saturday. Djokovic, who has won the Italian Open five times, has reached the semi-finals for the 8th consecutive time. In the other quarter-finals, Lorenzo Sonego defeated seventh-seeded Russian Andrei Rublev 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. This is Lorenzo’s first Master’s semi-final.
“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 said.
There will be a title clash between Carolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic and Inga Switzek of Poland in the women’s section. Inga entered the WTA 1000 final for the first time by winning two matches on the same day. Inga defeated Svitolina 6–2, 7–5 in the quarterfinals, and Koko Gough 7-6, 6–3 in the semi-finals. Pliskova defeated Petra Martic 6–1, 3–6, 6–2.