Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas set up a mouth-watering quarter final clash against Rafael Nadal after his opponent in the fourth round, Matteo Berrettini withdrew from the clash with an injury. Berrettini had suffered the abdominal injury during his win over Karen Khachanov in the third round on Saturday. He had to take a long medical time-out during the match but was able to carry on.
“Abdominal … I felt it during the previous match against Khachanov and it’s worse than I thought so I cannot play,” Berrettini had said about his injury and withdrawal. But even before the announcement of his withdrawal was made official, Tsitsipas’ upcoming opponent, Rafael Nadal revealed it during his post-match conference after his win over Fabio Fognini in straight sets.
‘Is it official?’ – A puzzled Nadal asks
Rafael Nadal spoke at the post-match conference and said, “I need to make another step forward against Tsitsipas. Is it official? He’ll play tonight… OK. Well, I don’t know, maybe. I think I heard that Berrettini was a little bit injured but not official at all. Sorry for that… but yeah, something… well, I messed it up.”
Speaking further about his win over Fognini and the upcoming match against Tsitsipas, he said, “It will be a big challenge and today’s win was good for my confidence. I will need to be ready. My back is holding up and tomorrow’s practice will be important preparation. [The] first set, without a doubt, was my best level in the tournament.”
“My physical condition needs to keep improving, but I think [today’s] match helps,” he added. “I was not able to practise the proper way for the past 19 days, but yesterday I started again to increase the amount of work in practice,” he signed off.