A week ago he was eliminated in Madrid in the quarter-finals against his compatriot and designated successor Carlos Alcaraz, in Rome late Thursday evening Rafael Nadal lost in the round of 16 against Canadian Denis Shapovalov. The 35-year-old’s body didn’t want to play along in the 6-1, 5-7, 2-6 defeat. Nadal ended the match with a pained face, giving up on the pitch is almost impossible for the 21-time major winner due to his attitude. The ATP tour is becoming more and more of an ordeal for him. The next stop is the French Open from May 22nd in Paris. Nadal will travel to France accompanied by a doctor.
“I’m not injured, I live with this injury,” said the Spaniard in Rome. For almost his entire career he struggled with Müller-Weiss syndrome – a deformation of the metatarsal bone. After impressive successes at the beginning of the year, culminating in victory at the Australian Open in Melbourne, Nadal is now hanging on the ropes like a battered boxer. How long will he keep doing this? Nadal: “There will come a moment when my head says enough is enough because the pain takes away my happiness. Not just for tennis, but for my life.”
Misolic already in the final
Filip Misolic continued his winning streak at the Zagreb ATP Challenger. The 20-year-old from Styria defeated the Australian Jason Kubler 7:5, 3:6, 6:3 in the semifinals and is thus in the final of a tournament in this category for the first time. Misolic already has 50 ATP points and 3650 euros in prize money. The native of Graz will thus move into the top 250 in the ranking for the first time.
Rome (ATP, 6.01 million euros, clay), round of 16: Denis Shapovalov (Kan/13) – Rafael Nadal (Gp/3) 1: 6, 7: 5, 6: 2; Casper Ruud (North/5) – Jenson Brooksby (USA) 6: 3, 6: 4; Quarterfinals: Alexander Zverev (D/2) – Cristian Garin (Chi) 7: 5, 6: 2, Stefanos Tsitsipas (Gre/4) – Jannik Sinner (It/10) 7: 6 (5), 6: 2, Casper Ruud (Nor/5) – Denis Shapovalov (Kan/13) 7:6 (7), 7:5; Semifinals: Zverev – Tsitsipas. Rome (WTA, 2.5 million euros, sand), quarter-finals: Iga Swiatek (Pol/1) – Bianca Andreescu (Kan) 7: 6 (2), 6: 0, Arina Sabalenka (Blr/3) – Amanda Anisimova (USA) 4: 6, 6: 3, 6: 2, Ons Jabeur (Tun/9) – Maria Sakkari (Gre/4) 1: 6, 7: 5, 6: 1.