Rafael Nadal enters Italian Open final
In the Italian Open tennis, Spain’s world No. 3 Rafael Nadal extended his perfect semi-final record to 12-0 with a 6-4, 6-4 win against No. 47 ranked Reilly Opelka of the US.
In the final on Sunday, Nadal will take on the winner of the clash between Serbian world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Italy’s world No. 33 Lorenzo Sonego.
Nadal is now also within touching distance of winning a single tour-level event on 10 or more occasions for the fourth time.
He has won 13 Roland Garros titles, 12 Barcelona trophies, and 11 Monte-Carlo titles.
Earlier, Djokovic raised his game after trailing 4-6, 1-2 on Friday to earn a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 comeback victory against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in a rain-hit quarter-final match to set up a last-4 clash with Sonego.
The top seed Serbian returned to court on Saturday morning with Tsitsipas serving at 6-4, 2-1, and he broke serve in two of his opening five return games to force a decider.
Djokovic then twice recovered from a break down in the decider to reach the final-four in Rome for the eighth straight year.
In the women’s section, No.15 seed Iga Swiatek of Poland ousted No. 35 Coco Gauff of the US, 7-6 (3), 6-3, to book a spot in the final.
Iga will take on Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova in the final.
The world’s ninth-ranked player and 2019 champion moved into her third straight Rome final after overcoming world No. 25 Petra Martic of Croatia 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 in the other semi-final match.
Tennis legend Roger Federer while criticising the Tokyo Olympics organiser has said that the athletes need a decision if the Games are happening or not.
He also added that if Games did not happen, he will be the first one to understand.
The 20-times Grand Slam winner also admitted that he is still in two minds about whether to participate or not.
An 18-year-old Federer made his Olympic debut at Sydney in 2000, where he entered the singles competition.
He surprised many by reaching the semifinals. At both the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Federer was the flag bearer for Switzerland in the opening ceremony.