Tennis: Alexander Zverev without losing a set in the semi -finals of Rome

After the final in Madrid, Alexander Zverev is also in the semi -finals in Rome. The big opponents only come. The constitution of the sandplace king Rafael Nadal meanwhile raises a few days before the French Open questions.

After the third two -set victory within three days, Alexander Zverev had only one question: “When can I go back to the Center Court?” The second, temporary place in the Rome Foro Italico did not like the tennis Olympic champion at all. The underground is really “bad”, the numerous place errors could “frustrate quite a bit,” said Zverev.

The fact that the frustration was limited, the racket was not flew over the sand this time, was due to the next increase in performance of the 25-year-old Hamburg. The 7: 5, 6: 2 against the Chilean ash specialist Cristian Garin, “a very good opponent”, as Zverev later explained, was another step forward towards the French Open (from May 22nd), the great goal of the German.

“It may not always be the most beautiful tennis,” he said, “but I did my job.” That is the most important thing. Without loss of sets, Zverev, Champion from 2017, reached the semi -finals, its third at the third clay court masters of the season. But that’s not enough for him. Only the first title of the year would give Zverev additional momentum for Paris.

Because he has to conquer the greats of his guild, stronger opponents than the clay court ravish Sebastian Baez and Garin or the nimble Australian Alex de Minaur. In the semifinals, either in Monte Carlo (defeat) and Madrid (victory) of the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas or the Italian Jannik Sinner. In the final possibly the recovered Serb Novak Djokovic.#

ATP Masters Rome: Nadal missed semi -finals

Only one who is never really missing when it gets serious when it comes to sand: Rafael Nadal, ten-time winner in Rome, 13-time champion in Roland Garros, Grand Slam record winner. The Spaniard flew not only from the tournament late Thursday evening, his foot injury, which had him limp against the Canadian Denis Shapovalov, raises questions.

“I’m not hurt, I’m a player who lives with an injury,” said Nadal defiantly. Sometimes he doesn’t notice anything, but sometimes the foot hurts “like crazy”. Nadal had brought the pain around the second half of the year last season, almost sensational, he got the 21st major title after his comeback in Australia, but the foot remains its problem area.

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Can he defend his kingdom in the Stade Roland Garros against young, carefree attackers such as Zverev, Tsitsipas or his spectacular compatriot Carlos Alcaraz? Can he prevent Djokovic from catching up to him in the eternal Grand Slam ranking? “What will be in the next few days? I don’t know,” said Nadal in Rome. And in a week? “I really can’t say it!”