Rafael Nadal booked a spot in the finals of the Italian Open 2021, as he defeated the American, Reilly Opelka in straight sets in the semifinals. The Spaniard put up a dominant show, and won 6-4, 6-4. The second seed is now just one win away from lifting his 10th title in Rome, and enter double figures.
Rafael Nadal will face the winner of the other semifinal between Novak Djokovic and Lorenzo Sonego in the finals. Reilly Opelka deserves huge credit for his semifinal run at the Italian Open 2021, as he defeated some challenging opponents to get this far. The American had 78 aces to his name in Rome, and defeated the likes of Aslan Karatsev, Federico Delbonis.
As for Rafael Nadal, it was his second straight sets victory in succession. The Spaniard defeated Alexander Zverev in straight sets on Friday, avenging his defeat at the Madrid Open 2021.
“I will give it all,” Rafael Nadal ‘one step’ away from claiming his tenth title in Rome
Rafael Nadal served brilliantly during the whole match, winning 84% of his points on first serve. The 34-year old’s serve has not been up to the mark this clay court season, but in order to match Reilly Opelka’s huge serve, he had to come up with the goods.
Rafael Nadal managed to convert two out of his seven break point opportunities, whereas, the American failed to convert any of his four opportunities. Another positive for Nadal was his first serve accuracy on Saturday. The Spaniard had a first serve accuracy of 75%, which was the finest he has served so far.
The second seed won 63 points during the whole match, whereas, Opelka managed to win 55 points. The latter served up 11 huge aces, however, Nadal did a fine job, serving five aces. The Spaniard was always the favorite to claim a victory in the semifinal, and progress into the title clash. In the semifinals, Nadal held his composure at crucial junctures of the game, and capitalized on Opelka’s second serve.
Rafael Nadal was delighted after hid victory over Reilly Opelka in the semifinals, and stated that he knew he was up against a tricky opponent. The Spaniard was confident of giving his best in the finals on Sunday.
“I knew it would have been a difficult match. Opelka gives you no rhythm,” said Nadal. “I am excited. It’s been an amazing week. I will give it all,” the Spaniard said on the final.