What if Rafael Nadal’s time at the Masters had come? “This year is a little different…”

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Rafael Nadal in the last four of the Masters, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Five years, in this case. The Mallorcan had not tasted the drunkenness of such a height during the ATP Finals since 2015 and a setback against Novak Djokovic. But Thursday evening, at the end of his decisive success against Stéfanos Tsitsipas (6-4, 4-6, 6-2) in the group “London 2020”, he did not have a Manichean reading of this return on the front of the London scene.

I won two matches, like last year actually“, he thus evoked, by way of a wink, while his career in 2019 had ended with a meeting won against … Tsitsipas, in three sets, already. In this context, he estimated he had “some bad luck“not to qualify. Then he recalled that he had retired due to injury in 2018. What to put into perspective his quest for a first Masters, at 34: when he tackles it, in form, Nadal is not always far from the score and it will even be his sixth appearance in the semi-finals on Saturday.

“Most of the time you come here a little tired…”

But she won’t be really like the others, according to him. Season disrupted by the health crisis requires. “It’s always difficult to play here against the best players in the world, every day, at the end of the season, he says about the physical aspect of the challenge of the Masters tournament. Most of the time you arrive here a little tired, but this year is a little different …“When the winner of thirteen French Open -“excited“before this duel – will face Daniil Medvedev on Saturday, he will play his 34th game in 2020. His Russian opponent his 37th.

To get there, the world number 2 therefore had to dismiss the defending champion, Tsitsipas, in what was a quarter-final made up of a group game. He was generally satisfied with his performance: “I think I played pretty well most of the game. “Despite an air gap which revived the debate. It is indeed on a double fault that” Rafa “conceded his service for the only time of the game, and, by the way, the second set.

I will have to play at my highest level, otherwise it will be next to impossible to win (against Medvedev)

I feel that I have won my services quite comfortably until then, Debriefed Nadal. After (the loss of the second set, note) it has changed a bit, I started to serve a little less well, but it remains a very positive match for me. “With 8 aces against this single double fault, 65% of first balls passed and, above all, 81% of success behind them, the Spaniard posted a good level on his entry.

A good level, that may not be enough, against a Daniil Medvedev who plays a last group game for butter, this Friday, from 3 p.m. against Diego Schwartzman. The Russian is in full swing. He didn’t need a single tie-break to dominate Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev in two sets. While Rafael Nadal therefore needed three sets to gain the upper hand over Tsitsipas, and was notably beaten 7-6, 7-6 by Dominic Thiem. He takes the opportunity to keep a low profile: “If I want to have a chance I will have to play at my highest level, otherwise it will be next to impossible to win.”

Tennis

London | Semi final

15:00-17:00

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