Tennis: Nadal crashes to Italian Open quarter-final defeat

Tennis: Nadal crashes to Italian Open quarter-final defeat

ROME (AFP) – Nine-time winner Rafael Nadal crashed out of the Italian Open in Saturday’s (Sept 19) quarter-finals to Argentine Diego Schwartzman.

Eight-seeded Schwartzman won 6-2, 7-5 in the final warm-up tournament for the French Open in just over a week.

Champion Nadal was making his comeback after a six-month coronavirus-enforced break having skipped the US Open ahead of Roland Garros with its first round on September 27.

But Schwartzman pulled out a stunning performance for his first win over Nadal in 10 meetings and next plays Canadian 12th seed Denis Shapovalov for a place in the final.