Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Italian Open: Zverev overcomes Garin; enter SFs

Continuing the quest for his first title of the season, World No 3 Alexander Zverev beat Cristian Garin 7-5, 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the Italian Open, here on Friday.
In a commanding performance on Grandstand Arena, Zverev fired his flat groundstrokes through the court as he struck 24 winners and broke the Chilean four times to advance after one hour and 51 minutes.
“It was a high-level match. At times it wasn’t pretty tennis, but I got the job done and that is the most important thing. I am through to the semi-finals and I am happy about that,” Zverev said in his on-court interview.
With his victory, Zverev has now leveled his ATP Head to Head series with Garin at 1-1, gaining revenge for his defeat to the World No 45 on clay in Munich in 2019. The German will next play Monte Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas or Italian Jannik Sinner in the last four.
The second seed, who defeated Novak Djokovic to capture the trophy in Rome in 2017, has won seven of his past eight matches after he reached the final at the Madrid Open last week.
The 2021 ATP Finals winner is yet to drop a set in Rome.
On the other hand, Garin was appearing in his third Masters 1000 quarter-final, having advanced to this stage in Paris in 2019 and Madrid in 2021.
The five-time tour-level titlist defeated Francesco Passaro, Emil Ruusuvuori and Marin Cilic en route to the last eight, but was unable to cope’with Zverev’s ball-striking and intensity as the match went on.
Nadal struggles with a foot injury
With just 10 days to go before the French Open, Rafael Nadal is struggling with an injury again.
Nadal was hampered by a foot problem toward the end of a 1-6 7-5 6-2 third-round loss to Denis Shapovalov at the Italian Open on Thursday.
At one point, the 35-year-old Nadal walked over and leaned on his towel box, and grimaced in apparent pain. He also limped between points.
Nadal missed a large portion of last year with a left foot injury.
“I hurt my foot again with a lot of pain,” Nadal said.
“I’m a player living with an injury. It’s nothing new. It’s something that is there, unfortunately. Day by day is difficult.” It was a worrisome scene for Nadal — especially with the French Open starting on May 22.
“What can happen in the next couple of days, I don’t know,” said Nadal, who has won Roland Garros a record 13 times.
“What can happen in one week, I really don’t know now.” Nadal returned to the tour last week following a rib stress fracture that kept him out for six weeks after a blistering start to the year that included his record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.
“It’s difficult for me to accept the situation sometimes,” Nadal said.
“Can be frustrating that a lot of days I can’t practice the proper way.” Nadal was also beaten by 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals of last week’s Madrid Open.


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