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AFP
May 19, 2019

Nadal dispatches Tsitsipas to reach Rome final

Sports

AFP
May 19, 2019

ROME: Defending champion Rafael Nadal swept past Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 to advance to his first final on clay this season at the Italian Open on Saturday.

The eight-time Rome winner had been stunned by Tsitsipas, seeded eighth, in the semi-finals at the Madrid Open last weekend.

But the 32-year-old Spaniard was clinical on the red clay of the Foro Italico winning through in 1hr 42min to maintain his record of having not dropped a set this week.

Nadal, seeded second, was playing his fourth straight semi-final, but had not managed to go further on clay this season.

His run to the Rome final comes just a week before he starts his assault on a 12th French Open title at Roland Garros.

Earlier on Saturday, Britain’s Johanna Konta fought back from a set down to seal victory on her fourth match point against Kiki Bertens to reach the women’s final.

Konta, ranked 42, came through 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 against sixth seed Bertens, winner of the Madrid Open last week, after almost three hours on the red clay of Rome.

Dutchwoman Bertens had advanced to the semi-finals after world number one Naomi Osaka of Japan retired with a hand injury before their match Friday.

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