ROME (AP) — Rafael Nadal put away Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-0 at the Italian Open on Friday to reach the semifinals after conceding only six games in his six sets of tennis at the tournament.
Yet he ought to be a little nervous.
Nadal has fallen in the semifinals of his last three tournaments — all on his favored clay. And next up is Stefanos Tsitsipas, whom Nadal lost to in Madrid last week.
“I know what happened last week, and I (am) going to try to do it better tomorrow,” Nadal said. “I have to hold the level or increase a little bit more. If that happens, I (am) going to have my chances. The good thing is during the last month my feeling is every week was better than the previous one.”
Tsitsipas, 20, is up to No. 7 in the rankings.
“Every year, we make (a) prediction…