Italia open: Nadal hits finals
Rafael Nadal defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6/3; 6/4 to reach the finals, while Johanna Konta of Great Britain outlasted Belgian’s Kiki Bertens 5/7; 7/5; 6/2 to reach the finals of the women’s event. In the women’s finals, Konta will face Karolina Pliskova who defeated Greek teenager Maria Sakkari 6/4; 6/4.Nadal will take on the winner of the second semi-finals match between Novak Djokovic and Diego Schwartzman of Argentina.
Nadal started the match serving and won the first game. Tsitsipas also took his first service game but was broken in the third game and Nadal extended the lead to 4-1. Although Tsitsipas reduced the margin, Nadal dropped just one point to win serve for a 5-2 lead. Serving for the set in the ninth game, Nadal lost two points to 0-30 but won four consecutive points to claim the first set 6/3.
When Tsitsipas held at love in the opening game of the second set, the expectations of a battle were resuscitated but Nadal was unrelenting as he leveled at love. In the third game, Tsitsipas had game point at 40-30 but was deuced, then lost the first advantage before conceding the break. Nadal consolidated to lead 3-1 and held on to win the set 6/4.
Johanna Konta served for the first set at 5-4 but lost the game without getting a point. In the eleventh game, Johanna took the first point but Bertens raced to 40-30 only to be deuced before winning on her third advantage. Serving to stay in the set, Konta won the first point but lost the next four to lose game and set 7-5.
Bertens served first in the second set and lost the game but Konta could not extend the lead as she too lost her serve, for 1 game apiece. The third game lasted a long time after Bertens led 30-0 on serve but was denied the game at 40-30. She won the game on the third advantage with her 6th ace of the match. The games proceeded with serve and Bertens delivered her 8th ace to win the seventh game. It was in the eleventh game that Bertens made her ninth ace but 8th double fault to conceded the break. Konta promptly served out the set 7/5. The British lady dominated the third set winning 6/4.