Rafael Nadal feels “sorry” for Roger Federer after the Swiss withdrew from the Italian Open 2019 on Friday.
Roger Federer was forced to pull out of the quarterfinals of the Italian Open 2019 due to a leg injury. Federer was set to face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the last 8 in Rome. There was also a possibility of a semifinal clash between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. However, the 20-time grand slam champion after playing two matches on Thursday revealed he had hurt his leg after slipping on the wet lines and couldn’t participate further in the tournament.
Rafael Nadal also played two matches on Thursday. It was a comfortable victory for Rafael Nadal in both of his matches. Nadal was asked about whether too much play on Thursday led to the withdrawal of top players like Roger Federer and Naomi Osaka after he reached the semifinals of the Italian Open.
Rafael Nadal answered, “That’s how it works sometimes, no? That can happen in outdoor conditions. That’s part of the game. I am very sorry for Osaka, especially sorry for Roger. Will be great to have the chance to play against him here in that semifinals. But I going to have another very tough opponent in front like Tsitsipas.”
Rafael Nadal added that playing two matches on the same day is always risky. He said, ” two matches on the same day, you have a risk. When that happens, of course, there is more risk than with one match.”
Rafael Nadal took his Mutua Madrid Open 2019 revenge after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals. The Spaniard reached his first finals in the 2019 clay season. Rafael Nadal will face Novak Djokovic in the finals of the Italian Open who defeated Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 in the semifinals.
The match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic would be a battle for a record 34th ATP Masters title. Djokovic has not defeated Rafael Nadal on clay since 2016. However, the Serb leads their head-to-head 28-25 with winning their last two meetings. While Nadal has been title-less in the 2019 season. It hasn’t been the best of the seasons’ for the 17-time grand slam champion but he would be aiming to turn the tables to win his first title in 2019.
“He’s my greatest rival of all time, for sure,” said Djokovic. “I’ve had so many matches against him. We have the longest rivalry of tennis of all time. Every time we get to play each other, it’s a thrill. It’s the ultimate challenge.”