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Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Home Sports Rafael Nadal downs Tommy Paul and sets Daniil Medvedev clash

Rafael Nadal downs Tommy Paul and sets Daniil Medvedev clash


The three-time Acapulco champion Rafael Nadal is through to his fifth semi-final in Mexico following a 6-0, 7-6 triumph over Tommy Paul in two hours and three minutes. Nadal had to work hard to topple Paul in set number two, losing serve three times but bouncing back from 5-3 down to reach a tie break and seal the deal without playing a decider.

Rafa did not serve well as in the previous matches, hitting four double faults and dropping 40% of the points behind the initial shot. Tommy earned those three breaks in the second set, but it was not enough to wrap up the set for him, losing 55% of the points in his games and giving away six times to end his run in the quarter-finals.

Rafa grabbed the opening game at love with a powerful backhand and fired a winner from his right wing in game two to secure a break and open a 2-0 lead. Nadal held on to love in game three seized the fourth break chance in the next one for 4-0 in 18 minutes.

Rafael Nadal will face Daniil Medvedev in the Acapulco semi-final.

The Spaniard closed the fifth game with a service winner and delivered the third straight break a few minutes later for a 6-0 advantage in under half an hour.

Paul made a nice recovery in the second set and earned an early break in the opening game with a backhand winner at the net. Tommy confirmed the lead with an ace in game two before Rafa pulled the break back with a lucky net cord in game four to level the score at 2-2.

Struggling to impose his strokes in those moments, Nadal sprayed a backhand error in the fifth game to fall behind. The Spaniard broke back in game six following a wild forehand from his rival, wasted game points in the next one and suffered a break after a loose forehand.

In game eight, Paul saved a break point and landed a forehand down the line winner to bring it home and move 5-3 in front. Rafa closed the ninth game with a forehand down the line winner in game nine to prolong the set and broke back in the next one to level the score at 5-5 and gain a boost.

The three-time champion saved a break chance with a forehand drive-volley winner in game 11 and the second after a well-constructed attack to avoid the late setback. Nadal finally held and earned a match point on the return in the next one with a volley winner.

Tommy saved it with a smash winner, denied the second with a service winner and fired another to close the game and introduce a tie break. From 2-0 down, Nadal landed a forehand down the line winner to reduce the deficit and opened a 3-2 gap with an unreturned serve.

Rafa forced the rival’s mistake to move 5-3 in front before Tommy climbed back to 5-5 and increased the drama. Nadal grabbed a mini-break in the 11th point and sealed the deal with a service winner for a place in the semi-final, where he faces Daniil Medvedev.



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