Never has a Roland-Garros match started so late. And as Jannik Sinner put up a good resistance to Rafael Nadal during the first two sets, this second quarter-final of the men’s table also offers the record for the latest outcome. It was at 1:26 a.m. that the Spaniard ended the game with his first match point. After coming close to letting go of the first round, Nadal, winner in three sets (7-6, 6-4, 6-1) has gradually taken the measure of a young opponent that we will certainly see again at this level. He qualifies for the 13th semi-final of his career at Roland Garros and will face Diego Schwartzman there. The Argentinian is warned: Nadal has never lost a last four game on Parisian clay.
Jannik Sinner will long remember this first Grand Slam quarter-final. For the fourth Major of his career, the 19-year-old Italian had the honor of facing the master of the place, two-ten times winner of the Parisian Grand Slam, which is moreover at nightfall. Neither Nadal nor the night scared the 75th player in the world. The first white game won by the Spaniard did not impress her more. It was he who offered the first break point, missed at 2-2. It was he who also took the first service from the opponent, at 5-5. At the best time, we thought. But Nadal is Nadal and Sinner is only 19. Unable to conclude, he saw the Spaniard come back and steal the first leg in the decisive game (7-4).
And Sinner finally gave in …
If Sinner grew up watching the world number 2 play at Roland Garros, he has already seen the scenario: a first set hooked then a demonstration. The brazen Italian did not hear it that way. Not resigned for a penny, he returned to the fight, giving himself a 3-1 advantage in the second set. Inspired, powerful, courageous, Sinner disturbs Nadal, also annoyed by the very cold conditions this Tuesday evening. Disturbed but not beaten the Taurus. An immediate break, an end of the round better managed than his opponent and this time the case was over (7-6, 6-4).
Because if there was a match in the first two sets, this was no longer the case in the third. At one o’clock, young Sinner had nothing more to offer, except a few flashes, further proof of his immense talent. Nadal was eager to finish and did not go into detail to finish at 1:26 in three sets (7-6, 6-4, 6-1). Relieved to have finished, also relieved to reach his 13th semi-final at Roland Garros. He now has two full days to rest before a rematch against Diego Schwartzman who had eliminated him in Rome before Roland Garros.
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