Nadal did what everyone knew he’d do: desperately scratch his way to the Rome final. He got a very beatable draw. But it almost doesn’t matter who he plays on this surface other than an in-form Djokovic or maybe a high-flying Dominic Thiem. I’m surprised Tsitsipas actually put-up the fight he did, losing on one break of serve in each set. Nadal is in that rampant-clay-monster mode which is part quality, part bully. It’s not the classiest tennis by any stretch of the imagination. But it works.
The match is over before it starts. Nadal’s muscular, defensive sandlot ball is essentially a nightmare for anyone. He laps-up the shitty surface, chunked and beat-up, which probably describes his opponents, as well.
Watching the Federer v Coric match, the first image was a windy, shade-strewn court with these two players making-do on the beat-up clay. Just a mess of a tennis match.
Federer’s BH was gone. How he managed to come-back from the 2-6 first set is beyond me. Nonetheless, solid win for Federer. The match lasted forever, the crowd helping to pull Federer through, almost like the bias for Fognini in his match against Tsitsipas that followed.
Federer got his clay reps, but we know this entire chapter of 2019, the clay season, is between Djokovic and Nadal.
I watched most of the Djokovic v Del Potro match. Worth noting that was only Juan Martin’s seventh ATP match of year. He is a beast. What a match.
Nole has a giant competitive heart and the tennis of legends.
Let’s see Djokovic take care of this other Argentine and get us all ready for another showdown, one that Nadal almost certainly has to win.