Nadal Finally Tested In Barcelona, But Still Wins In Straights; Tsitsipas Tstuns Thiem
by Staff | April 27th, 2018, 10:56 pm

Rafael Nadal’s set streak nearly came to an end Friday in Barcelona. Facing Martin Klizan – who upset Novak Djokovic earlier in the week – Nadal found himself down in the second as Klizan served for it. But Rafa swatted aside three set points and took the match 6-2, 7-5.

“I started well,” Nadal said. “He made mistakes, especially with his backhand and to be honest, I felt very good. Then, in the second round, I played bad and with a horrible service. He played very aggressive and discomforted me a lot with the constant shots, that could be crossed or parallel, something unpredictable and that confused me enough. It was tough, but the important thing was not to fail.”

On clay, Nadal has now won 17 straight matches and 42 sets in a row. Up next tomorrow in the semifinals is David Goffin.

The Belgian who is returning from an eye injury kept Roberto Bautista Agut winless against Top 10s on clay by dispatching Rafa’s countryman 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-2.

“Tomorrow will be a very tough game, but I will play knowing that I have nothing to lose, Rafa is the best on earth and I will have to give my best to overcome him”, said Goffin who is 1-2 against Nadal.

Rising Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas collected his biggest career win overcoming an early break deficit to stun Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-2. He moves on to face Pablo Carreno Busta who returned to the Barcelona semifinals after bouncing Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 7-6(4).

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29 Comments for Nadal Finally Tested In Barcelona, But Still Wins In Straights; Tsitsipas Tstuns Thiem

Nitesh Says:

Against Goffin there is high chance his streak might break.yesterday’s second set was top notch. Nadal running against drop shots then finding winners is a treat to watch.He lost some points still it was a treat to watch.

Willow Says:

Nitesh when you say the streak might break, do you mean his winning streak, or sets won streak or both lol ??

Okiegal Says:

The “Fly”……..flying high!! WOWZER!!!!

Margot Says:

Icarus still flying towards the sun. Poor Busta got busted and dusted.

Daniel Says:

The kid felt the weight of a full week of tennis. 2 sets in just 95 minutes and he was dusted. Can’t imagine him beating Nadal tomorrow. But at least will serve as ab experience playing his first final in an ATP 500 and against Nadal on this court.

Margot Says:

It’s probably quite draining for him too, Shirley….oops I mean Daniel….;) And no, I can’t see him beating Rafa either.
He stands way behind the baseline which is why Busted’s drops were so effective and another reason why he might be so exhausted.

Daniel Says:

Damm, Goffin is on fire, taking most the balls on the rise. A lot of winners from both corners.

Daniel Says:

Than Nadal raise his level and wins 7 straight points.

Humble Rafa Says:

Great set ends predictably. 4 games. Goffin in the coffin.

j-kath Says:

Daniel: Wee David is 27 years old….given the rise of some of the barely-out-of-nappy generation – David and his generation can no longer wait for the demise of the veterans – they’re facing stiff competition at both ends of the spectrum.

chofer Says:

Ok, the final I predicted.

Give me the money.

Willow Says:

Fantastic congratulations Rafa ;-)

Willow Says:

Rafas the only player in the open era to have 400 wins, on both clay and hard courts, hmm so much for him only been good on clay ….

Okiegal Says:

Congrats to Rafa on his win today.l! Good luck tomorrow and bite another trophy!!

Humble Rafa Says:

I love giving bagels and breadsticks, goes well with my Humble personality.

Sipitisisisisppisi will also get a bagel tomorrow.

Humble Rafa Says:

bite another trophy

My life hasn’t been the same again since I learned to enjoy biting the trophy. Wonder why other players don’t do much biting.

Humble Rafa Says:

Rafas the only player in the open era to have 400 wins, on both clay and hard courts, hmm so much for him only been good on clay

You cannot change some people’s beliefs. They don’t want to hear facts.

Temple Says:

FYI, a few words about Tsitsipas from a Greek: clay is his natural surface, since he grew up playing on it (in Greece, we may have one basketball court per building block, but tennis courts are few and far between, this happens when you are governed for 40 years by statists who think tennis is an elite sport).

Mom Russian, former tennis player. Dad is Greek and also his coach. Dad has eerie resemblance to Uncle Tony, mostly in style, this is why television coverage seems to be fixated on him.

Tsitsi is a former Junior 1, which does not say much, as I remember Irakli Labadze, a junior form Georgia, in Federer’s years who just imploded.

Stefanos used to drive us Greeks nuts, with his shanks and errors. He has improved dramatically this season, which makes watching his games a little less frustrating.

Frankly speaking, I have no real hope for tomorrow. Tsitsis’ stamina is questionable, which against Nadal will lead to a a coup de grâce and a net handshake in around 90 minutes. I hope he plays decent tennis and pushes Nadal to a tiebreak, although a bagel and stick loss should not be ruled out.

If he does take a set from Nadal, it would be unbelievable and they should bite the trophy together.

Okiegal Says:

OMG Humble I hope he gets a bagel! I’m shocked you’re not more humble regarding fly boy. I don’t want to see him taking a bite out of your shorts!! OK?? 😱😱😱



chofer Says:

Watch out for your wish, HR.

Tsi-Tsi fly against The Bull requires some vaccination first.

Rafa is the favourite, but I think the fly is the fisrt one to take a set off him. Or, at least, take him to a TB. I don’t know whu, but I see a breaker here.

Okie: we really though about the fly, didn’t we? As one member of the ONLY generation that will matter after all of the champions retire, I would walk with more caution here.

Yes, I am saying that neither Grigor nor Domi belongs on that generation. I will extend on the gebneration theory when I have more time, but there’s countless proof in tennis history of a group that “matters”, while others don’t.

Will try to catch a streaming tomorrow.

chofer Says:

Tactically, I think Rafa will hammer his serve on the deuce court very wide many times over. Being a lefty helps breaking down the fly’s BH. Like Rafa did in the beginning of his rivalry with Roger.

I think this is a good rival for him because of that. But the Greek has been rock solid with Bh this week. Let’s see. It’ll be intersting. I think this kid will contend for Slams in a not so distant future.

Markus Says:

It’s too early in his career to think that Tsitsipas will even have a chance against Nadal, on clay at that. He’ll need more tsis before he can pass.

j-kath Says:

Chofer: Yes. 4.51 pm. Absolutely agree with you…the group that mattered – and may yet have a swansong….and if that does not occur, it’s appropriate to acknowledge their mastery.

Humble Rafa Says:

I take Sisisisisisis very seriously. I put in 2 minutes of extra practice, reviewed by 1 page handwritten notes on playing people with one handed practice and practiced biting a trophy.

I will be ready. I don’t want to be beaten by a guy named sisssy pas.

Markus Says:

HR, it’s like Sisyphus struggling to push a boulder up a hill but never succeeds.

Okiegal Says:

@Chofer….Yes we really did think the same. I even googled it to make sure I spelled it right….but backed out. Then lo and behold someone else on TX thought the same thing! Fly is easier to spell than his real name. He does fly around the court quite well. Rafa will have his hands full tomorrow. Maybe he will be spent after the tough match he had against Busta.

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