Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Auschwitz, 70 years on

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Former LRA commander appears before ICC

Read more

WEB NEWS

'Snowmageddon 2015': Web users brace for massive snow storm

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

In Nazi death camps, 'I asked myself where God was all the time'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Far-left and far-right celebrate Syriza's victory

Read more

FOCUS

Auschwitz, the symbol of industrial-scale extermination

Read more

ENCORE!

The voices of Auschwitz in music, film and literature

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Sir Martin Sorrell: Brexit referendum would be ‘very damaging for UK economy’

Read more

WEB NEWS

Facebook cracks down on viral hoaxes

Read more

Ruthless Nadal breezes into semis

Latest update : 2009-05-02

World number one and top seed Rafael Nadal progressed to the semi-finals of the ATP Rome Masters claycourt tournament after a gruelling 6-3, 6-3 victory against sixth seed Fernando Verdasco.

AFP - World number one and top seed Rafael Nadal progressed to the semi-finals of the ATP Rome Masters claycourt tournament after a gruelling 6-3, 6-3 victory against sixth seed Fernando Verdasco on Friday.
  
The scoreline did not do justice to a keenly contested match that lasted 1hr 50min and in which Verdasco had more than enough chances to cause an upset.
  
The final statistics told the story of a match in which the former three-time champion here Nadal took his opportunities while Verdasco let his slip by.
  
Verdasco hit 20 winners to just six by Nadal but made more than twice as many unforced errors -- 41 to just 20 from the world's best player.
  
And both men forced six break points throughout the match but while Nadal converted four of his, Verdasco managed only one break.
  
Nadal said he had to adapt to conditions that had changed from his night-time victory over Swede Robin Soderling the day before.
  
"Last night the court was slow; the ball was heavy. Today was completely different conditions, the ball was flying so much," he said.
  
"I liked the conditions of today but after the change from last night, it's a big change.
  
"Last night I played really well and today I didn't play my best. I made some mistakes, especially in the second set.
  
"The beginning, I had a lot of mistakes. The first set was okay, I did well. But in the second I was a little bit lucky, he made important mistakes in some important points."
  
Verdasco, the 25-year-old sixth seed, started badly, double faulting to hand Nadal a break in the opening game.
  
However, he hit straight back as Nadal played a dreadful service game and was broken to love.
  
The top seed soon clicked into gear, though, and broke Verdasco twice more to take the set.
  
The main difference in the opener was that Nadal was massacring Verdasco's second serve, winning 78 percent of the points when his compatriot missed his first service.
  
In the second set Verdasco had plenty of opportunities to get his nose in front but he missed three break point chances in the first game and two more at 2-2.
  
Even so, he was trading wilfully with Nadal from the back of the court and but for his high unforced error count he looked capable of beating the king of clay.
  
But at 4-3 to Nadal, Verdasco missed two simple volleys as he gifted his compatriot a break, despite having led 40-15.
  
He called for the trainer at the change of ends and his knee seemed to be giving him some pain, so it was unsurprising that he wilted easily in the final game.
  
Nadal took his win streak on clay to 28 matches since he was beaten here a year ago in the second round by Juan Carlos Ferrero.
  

Date created : 2009-05-01

COMMENT(S)