Rome, May 18: Defending champion and eight-time winner Rafael Nadal beat Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-4 6-0 to reach the Italian Open semi-finals.
Nadal came from 2-0 down to win in one hour 38 minutes on Friday and will now face 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas in semi finals, BBC reported. The 20-year-old Greek progressed after Roger Federer pulled out with a right leg injury before their quarter-final encounter.
Nadal survived three break points at 4-4 in the first set but needed only 36 minutes to win the second. He won eight consecutive games to continue his run at the Italian Open.
'He was playing great, being honest. I was not playing bad at the beginning at all. But he was playing unbelievable. No mistakes, a lot of winners, taking the ball early. Was a very difficult first set', Nadal said after the match.
'I think I had a good feelings during the whole match. Then after winning that first set, in the second... of course he slows down a little bit, but I was able to play a little bit more aggressive with the forehand. I did a lot of things well this afternoon', he added.
Meanwhile, Diego Schwartzman also reached last four with a 6-4 6-2 victory over Japanese sixth seed Kei Nishikori. He will face either Novak Djokovic or Juan Martin del Potro for a place in the final. (UNI)