“It Needs to Keep Improving” – Rafael Nadal Opens up About His Form Ahead of Italian Open 2020 Quarterfinals

Published 09/18/2020, 6:19 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – September 18, 2020 Spain’s Rafael Nadal with a protective face mask in his third round match against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic Pool via REUTERS/Angelo Carconi


World Number two Rafael Nadal played his first professional match on the ATP Tour after 200 days, against reigning US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta at Italian Open 2020. The Spaniard dropped just two games in the match and closed out the battle within an hour.

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His second match on Friday against Serbian tennis player Dusan Lajovic was also a one-sided affair. The 19-time Major Champion swept past  Lajovic 6-1, 6-3, and reserved a place in the quarterfinals of Rome Masters.

Despite his pitch-perfect form and his ability to steamroll against the other professionals, Nadal feels there’s always room for improvement and he wants to meticulously work on his shortcomings.

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Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – September 18, 2020 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his third-round match against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic Pool via REUTERS/Angelo Carconi

“I played at, I think a very positive level of tennis. Of course, it needs to keep improving. I need to keep working on a couple of things that are not coming automatically. But I can’t ask for more,” Rafa mentioned.

“[It was] another great evening for me against another good opponent. Can’t complain at all. Much better [than] what I expected. The first set was 6-1, but a super tough beginning of the match. A lot of good points. [I’m] very happy, it’s an important victory for me after such a long time. To start the tournament with these two victories is great news.”

Rafael Nadal vs Diego Schwartzman

Up next, Nadal will be facing the Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open 2020. In Rome, eighth seed Schwartzman held victories over the likes of Hubert Hurkacz and John Millman. He also played the clay event in Kithzbhul, Austria before coming to Rome.

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Rafa and Diego have previously met nine times in their careers and the Spaniard maestro is yet to drop a match against him.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his third-round match against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic |REUTERS

With Nadal’s victory on Friday, he earned his 992nd win on the ATP Tour, and within a few days, he’s expected to attain the 1000 mark.

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Also, if Rafa manages to defend his title in Rome this year, it will be his 10th title on the Italian clay and his 36th Masters 1000 title.

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Mahalakshmi Murali

1905 articles

Mahalakshmi Murali joined EssentiallySports in 2018 as a tennis author and has gone on to pen more than 1800 engaging articles, probing into various aspects of the sport and its illustrious players. With her expertise on the sport, Mahalakshmi has interviewed stalwarts from the sport such as Serena WIlliams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou and Kevin Anderson’s physio, Carlos Costa. Equipped with her vast experience and a keen understanding of the sport, Mahalakshmi now co-heads the tennis department.

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