Nadal 3-2 Shapovalov, through to the last four of the Australian Open men’s singles, two wins short of history
Sixth-seeded Rafael Nadal beat young star Andrey Shapovalov 3-2 to advance to the men’s singles quarterfinals at the Australian Open on Sunday.Nadal is 2 wins away from his all-time high of 21 Grand Slams. Can he achieve it?Nadal won the first set 6-3, 6-4 before Shapovalov came back to win the same set 6-4, 6-3 and the fifth set 6-3.The key to Nadal’s victory in this match is strong willpower in addition to skill.Nadal, known as the king of clay, has won 13 French Open singles titles.But he is equally good in other matches, overshadowed by his clay record.Nadal, who made his Australian Open debut in 2004, has won one title, four runners-up, one semi-final and seven quarterfinals in 17 appearances.The surprise exit of Novak Djokovic and the loss of Alexander Zverev in the previous round left nadal in the top half of the Australian Open.This round, Nadal’s opponent is Shapovalov, this is he knocked out the third seed Zverev.Shapovalov, 22, ranked 14th in the world, has been a rising star in the last two years.In the last round, he beat Zverev 3-0, which was very surprising, but also showed that he is very strong, and very good form.Nadal showed his experience as a Grand Slam player, converting his only break opportunities in the first two sets to take a 6-4 6-3 2-0 lead.Just when everyone thought Nadal was going to win easily, Shapovalov showed amazing strength. He changed his game, came to the net when he had the chance, forced nadal to make a lot of mistakes, and it worked well. He also got the break and took the chance to win two sets in a row, 6-4, 6-3, to make it 2-2.In the fifth set, Nadal was physically challenged by an opponent 13 years his junior.On serve, Shapovalov served six Aces to Nadal’s two. Shapovalov also dominated the one-point scoring ratio.In terms of winning points, Shapovalov also dominated, with 11 to Nadal’s six.Shapovalov should have won in theory, but Nadal did. Why?The secret to Nadal’s victory was tactics.He strategically gives up some of the difficult returns, selectively pushes the opponent, and now it’s more about the net, which is why he has a very high break rate.Another aspect is that he pays great attention to his serve. He serves according to different situations on the court and basically does not give the opponent any chance to break his serve. Although he has fewer points directly, he has many chances to connect the upper hand in the next stroke, which forms a pressure on the opponent and causes the opponent to make mistakes.In the fifth set, Nadal had fewer serves and winning points than his opponent, but he won the match by controlling his error rate.From this match, we can see that Shapovalov is now very good technique, with the ability to arm the giants.Although he lost this match to Nadal, but the next time they meet, he will not necessarily lose.But for him, this tournament has been very good, to knock out Zverev and set a personal best, his future is bright.Nadal is now 35 years old, unable to compete with younger players for strength and speed, but more tactical.The key to win the game is tactics, appropriate to give up a game, a set is ok, is the final result of the match.Nadal threw his fist into the air after winning the match, something he had not seen in a long time, indicating how hard it was for him to win.Nadal, who joins Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in winning 20 Grand Slam titles, is two wins away from winning the Australian Open.He had been expected to break records on clay, but it looked like he could break through and become the first player in history at this year’s Australian Open.