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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday September 18, 2020

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal continued on his path at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome with a straight sets win over Dusan Lajovic.

Photo Source: Getty

Rafael Nadal continued his push deeper into the Internazionali BNL d’Italia draw in Rome with a 6-1 6-3 victory over Dusan Lajovic of Serbia on Friday.

Tennis Express

Nadal, now 63-6 lifetime at the Foro Italico, needed just 90 minutes to improve to 3-0 lifetime against the World No.25. The No.2 seed had his serve broken twice but nevertheless still managed to amble to an uncomplicated victory to set up a quarterfinal encounter with Diego Schwartzman.

“I played two good, solid matches,” Nadal said after his win. “I played, I think, at a very positive level of tennis. Of course it needs to keep improving. I need to keep working on a couple things. Things are not coming automatic, but I can’t ask for more. It has been another great evening for me against another good opponent, so I can’t complain at all.”

Nadal reaches his record 93rd Masters 1000 quarterfinal, and his 15th at Rome. The nine-time Rome champion says he is looking forward to the challenge of facing Schwartzman.

“Much better than what I expected,” he said of his performance through two rounds. “Tomorrow another opportunity to play against one of the best players in the world, Diego Schwartzman, so let’s see.”

Nadal has lost just six games through two rounds.

Lajovic, a proven commodity on clay and a runner-up at Monte-Carlo in 2019, won three games on the trot from 6-1 4-0 down, but couldn’t push any further against the 19-time major champion.

After the match Nadal was asked what the significance would be if he would be able to catch Roger Federer on the all-time Grand Slam title list by winning his 20th major title at Roland Garros.

“For me it’s not an obsession at all,” he said. “I can’t be all the time thinking about what Roger had or what Novak or what the others had. I know that [the media] puts a lot of attention on all of this. Of course I would love to finish my career with 25, but that’s something that probably will not happen.”

For now the Spaniard, who turned 34 in June, will do as he always does, focus on the task at hand. On Saturday it’s Schwartzman. Beyond that – let’s see.


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