Nadal and Muguruza, to clear doubts in Rome

Nadal and Muguruza, to clear doubts in Rome

While Rafa Nadal was exercising yesterday at the facilities of the Foro Italico, started the first round of the men’s final draw of the Masters 1,000 of Rome (He is exempt from contesting it for his ranking). The Spaniard was eager and intense in that preparatory session, qualities that he will need to face tomorrow (time to be determined) his first rival: Jannik Sinner. The young Italian (19 years old and 18th in the world) easily beat Frenchman Ugo Humbert in his debut (6-2 and 6-4 in 89 minutes), so he has already left behind his discreet performance at a Mutua Madrid Open where last week he said goodbye in the second round against Popyrin. It will not be a comfortable premiere for Nadal, who knows the Italian’s weapons from their confrontation at Roland Garros last year (7-6, 6-4 and 6-1). Much has changed since that month of October until now, a period in which Sinner has played three finals and won two titles (Sofia and Melbourne 1).

The picture is more uncertain at the top of the table for number one. And is that Novak Djokovic’s performance offers doubts in a season in which, apart from winning in Australia, it has been the most discreet. In addition, he accumulates little filming on clay, where he has only played five games (3-2). In Monte Carlo he fell by surprise to Daniel Evans with a apathetic attitude that led him to resign from Madrid and in Belgrade he crashed in the semifinals against Karatsev. Start your way this Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. before Taylor Fritz (23 years old, 31st) in a crucial week to prepare for Roland Garros (last year he lost the final against Nadal), with guarantees. “My priority is the Grand Slams”, the Serbian warned yesterday.

GarbiƱe’s physique, great unknown

Who also comes with the need to clear doubts about their physical condition, after resigning from the Mutua Madrid Open due to muscular discomfort, is GarbiƱe Muguruza. The Spanish has been training for days in Rome (where she has played semifinals in 2020, 2017 and 2016), sharing the track with Karen Khachanov, and debuts today in the third shift of the Grand Stand against Patricia Maria Tig (not before 1:00 PM, TDP), following Pavlyuchenkova’s dismissal due to injury. Davidovich, Bautista, CarreƱo and CarballĆ©s are also looking to advance to the next round.

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