Rome, May 12 (EFE) .- The Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal, who played the third set weighed down by a condition in his left foot which caused an obvious lameness, crashed this Thursday with the Canadian Denis Shapovalov and was eliminated from the Masters 1000 Rome in the round of 16 in three sets (1-6, 7-5 and 6-2)
Nadal says goodbye to Rome, the city he has crowned ten times. He faced a great Shapovalov, like he did last year, but this time the scales tipped on the Canadian side.
Still without competitive rhythm after his rib injury and usual foot problem, which he suffered in the third set, the man from Manaco could not contain Shapovalov, unleashed.
Nadal was Nadal again in the first set. He served well, was solid against the others and managed to move the Canadian to create gaps. He adjusted the angle and hit the drop shots, that was the way to go. Nadal was almost back. And the result of the first setting reflected it, 6-1. He dominated and won, Shapovalov was on the canvas.
But the pain returned. The one who does not control his foot and prevents him from continuing. He managed to tame it, with its pluses and minuses, in the second set, much more equal than the first and after more than an hour and a quarter the Canadian won 7-5.
The third was already unachievable for the Balearics, a shadow of what had been a few minutes ago. It showed on his face, in his movements. It was not good. In the fifth game of this definitive set, with 2-2 on the scoreboard, Nadal collapsed. And the public, who saw in him the one who held the crown of the tournament until then, gave him a standing ovation. But Nadal did not react, aware of what was going to happen and, probably, his mind already turned to Paris, at Roland Garros.
Three “breaks” from the Canadian, precise in his services, for one from the Spaniard granted the ticket for the quarter-finals to Shapovalov, who will now face the Norwegian Casper Ruud, the fifth seed of the tournament.
Rafa said goodbye to Rome in a way that he surely didn’t want, but that also had to come to mind. From the start of the tournament, he said he was not ready, that he had to improve. But this Thursday was not tennis in itself, this Thursday Nadal is eliminated by Shapovalov and, above all, because of his injury.
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