Rafael Nadal got back on track Monday at the French Open. After a first week of struggles and questions, Nadal roared past Kei Nishikori 63, 61, 64 to win his 19th straight match.
Nadal is now just nine sets from an eighth French Open title and 12th overall Slam. And on his 27th birthday, Rafa said this was a great present.
“I played much better today than the first three matches, no doubt about that,” said Nadal who has never lost on his birthday (5-0). “I say the other day I need to improve. I improve today. You cannot pass to play bad and to play perfect, but I was playing bad. Today I played a little bit better than normal.
“Seriously if you told me two days ago you will play like this today, I will say, ‘Give me the paper and I will sign’, because I’m happy the way I improved my game today.”
After the win the tournament wheeled out a massive birthday in Rafa’s honor. Let’s hope he didn’t eat all of it because he’ll need his his energy going forward.
In the quarterfinals on Wednesday, Nadal will face Stanislas Wawrinka. The Swiss edged Richard Gasquet 86 in the fifth set today to advance to his first French Open quarterfinals. Nadal, though, has won all nine meetings with Wawrinka, all in straight sets. And if he wins it could be Djokovic on Friday.
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