• Joseph Faulkner

Nadal, Djokovic Reach Italian Open Semi-Final

Rafael Nadal suffered a brief injury scare in his quarter-final win over Alexander Zverev at the Masters 1000 event in Rome on Friday. The Spanish Tennis star labelled the Italian Open court as "dangerous" following his revenge over Zverev, who defeated him in Madrid.

Speaking to Amazon Prime Video after beating Zverev, Nadal said: "It was clear what happened. Some lines are higher than the rest of the court. When you touch the line, it's dangerous. That's it."

The 'King of Clay' added that he was pleased with the way he played. "Yeah, I'm happy. I think I played a very solid match with not many mistakes, playing the way I have to. Important victory for me again against a great player."

"I'm happy. Semi-finals here in Rome one more time, confidence for myself and another victory against a great player so very pleased. I think I played more solid than in Madrid. At the same time, conditions are different," Nadal continued.

The Spanish tennis star compared his win to his defeat against Zverev in Madrid. "In Madrid, he was able to create a lot of damage with his serve. Then with the first shot here, the situation is a little bit different, a little bit more normal conditions on the clay."

"I was able to control the game a little bit more than in Madrid where the ball was flying a lot, and it was difficult to be under control. At the same time, the main thing is that I played well," Nadal explained.

Nadal, chasing a 10th title in Rome, forced a third-set tie-break by saving match points at 6-5. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic reached his 15th Rome quarter-final in a row.

The world number one and defending champion dropped his opening serve. However, he recovered immediately to beat Spanish qualifier Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-1.

Nadal, 34, will face German sixth seed Zverev or Japan’s Kei Nishikori for a place in the semi-finals. Djokovic will take on fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the last four after the Greek beat Italy’s Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

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