The Roman court saw a rare tennis episode as Rafael Nadal was knocked down by Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 7-5, in the quarterfinals of Italian Open 2020. The opening set was straightforward with Diego leading by two breaks. However, the second one saw an intense battle as the two professionals traded multiple breaks.
Rafa was looking to claim his 10th title on the Roman clay this week. Unfortunately, World Number 15 Schwartzman halted Rafa from reaching that unparalleled niche.
For the first time in 12 years, Rafa will be going to Paris without a clay-court title to his name, as he begins his battle for another Roland Garros crown.
After failing to defend his title in the Italian capital, Nadal praised Diego’s level of tennis on Saturday.
“It was not my night at all. He played very well, not me. This kind of thing can happen after a long time without playing. I managed two good matches, tonight a bad one. Well done to Diego,” he said.
Rafael Nadal on court conditions
Rafa emphasized on the fact that there was no room for making excuses. Instead, he wants to work on his shortcomings.
However, he did mention the humid conditions and sweltering heat that made him uncomfortable during the majority of the contest.
“We can find excuses, but I didn’t play well enough. We have to think internally why and how I can fix it, but now is not the moment to find excuses now is the time to accept that I didn’t play well enough. It has been a super heavy evening in terms of humidity, conditions out there were much heavier than the previous days in terms of the bounces of the ball, for me it was difficult to push him back, so he did a great job,” he added.
Rafa promises to fight harder
Rafa’s unprecedented fighting spirit and ability to bounce back is world renowned. But on Saturday, with poor serves and unforced errors, Nadal couldn’t battle past the Argentine warrior.
“I fought until the end, but losing that many serves you can’t expect to win a match, so it’s something that I have to fix. I know how to do it,” Rafa mentioned.
Rafa reiterated that a positive attitude would be the key to recovery. “I am going to keep working and practicing with the right attitude, and going to try to give myself a chance to be ready,” he added.
Undoubtedly, Diego pulling off the biggest victory of his career. Now, he will be facing Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open 2020.
Rafael Nadal will next be seen at French Open 2020 where he’ll be aiming to pull off seven matches to lift his 13th Roland Garros title on the Court Philippe-Chatrier.