Nadal races into Rome semis with win over Verdasco

Nadal races into Rome semis with win over Verdasco

Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his quarter final match against Spain’s Fernando Verdasco REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli

ROME, May 18 (Reuters): Champion Rafael Nadal set up an Italian Open semi-final with Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday thanks to a 6-4 6-0 win over Fernando Verdasco.


A week after being beaten by the Greek upstart in the Madrid Open semis, the 32-year-old Nadal will be eager to prove that the loss to Tsitsipas was just a blip as he fine tunes his game ahead of this month’s French Open.


The 20-year-old Greek progressed after Roger Federer pulled out with a right leg injury before their quarter-final encounter.


Nadal went 2-0 down before surviving three break points at 4-4 in the first set, but he pulled away by winning eight consecutive games to continue his hunt for a ninth title in Rome.


Diego Schwartzman reached that last four with a 6-4 6-2 victory over Japanese sixth seed Kei Nishikori.


He will face either Novak Djokovic or Juan Martin del Potro for a place in the final.