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Monte Carlo || Nadal Overcomes A Bad Drink Against Ivashka, 111 Of The World

Five days after being subdued by Andrey Rublev in a tough game in the Monte Carlo quarterfinals, Rafael Nadal faced a very different commitment in Barcelona. On the other side of the net there was not a top ten , one of the players with the greatest projection, but a Belarusian semi-based in Barcelona with hardly any name on the circuit. Illya IvaskaHe made it through the qualifying phase and, at 27, enjoyed the opportunity to face the 11-time tournament champion on the track that bears his name. If in the principality, without ignoring the formidable performance of the adversary, Nadal sowed some doubts about his state of form, he did not finish clearing them in his debut at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona,   despite his 3-6, 6- victory. 2 and 6-4, in two hours and 19 minutes.

With a fairly simple approach, Ivaska, 111th in the world, took advantage in the first games, supported by a good serve and his forehand. It was difficult to move the ball due to the weather. A wet, fresh day, with some previous rain, and Nadal did not find the liveliness of the ball in his topspin shots. The one from Minsk, with a virulent punch, managed his initial baggage well and began to believe that he was not facing an impossible. He took the first set, to the surprise of the quota of fans allowed by the restrictions of the pandemic.


Nadal has lost initiative in the game. He missed Rublev and missed again in front of an opponent who moved too comfortably. The Spaniard is too often at the mercy of the opponent. Ivashka, as it was written, says little in high competition. He allows reactions such as the one starring the world number three, who woke up in the second set and forced him to hit in more uncomfortable positions. It was to be expected that the Belarusian could not maintain the degree of success, that sooner or later logic would prevail. Accustomed to holding onto the fringes of the circuit, Ivashka had his best result three years ago in the Marseille quarterfinals, when he beat Stan Wawrinka.

However, it was necessary to wait until the break of the seventh game of the third quarter, when Nadal was placed with 4-3 and service, to put an end to the uncertainty. He broke a blank and headed to the round of 16, not without suffering much more than could be suspected in one of his fetish tournaments and on the surface that he still rules like no one else.

"That he is out of the first hundred is something circumstantial. Today he played above that level. When you come from losing a game, doubts arise and you have to recover. I have competed very little in the last year. It was important to get this game out. in any way, "he commented at the foot of the track in statements to Spanish Television, after the meeting.

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