The Spaniard makes the best match of the tournament against Sonego and reaches the second week of Wimbledon for the tenth time in his career
All the doubts that Rafa Nadal's game on grass had offered this week were cleared up this Saturday. With a stroke of the pen, with a stroke of the hand, with a tennis exhibition worthy of the best Nadal on the surface, with which to undress a Lorenzo Sonego (6-1, 6-2 and 6-4) melted by the intensity of the Spanish.
The Italian did not believe the level of the rival he had in front of him, the one who came to the trantran during the first two rounds and who took off his mask to destroy him in front of the English public. His best match to date on grass, a show at the Cathedral of Tennis with which to sign his pass to the second week of the tournament for the tenth time at Wimbledon.
Nadal will fight for the title. That was the message that the Spaniard sent with his demonstration of power against Sonego, that in the face of the horror he experienced with his tennis, several levels below that of Nadal, he only had to demand that the organization please close the roof, before the excuse that he couldn't see well in the natural light of London.
The truth is that, by the time the transalpine's complaints arrived, his party was practically decided. He had run over a freight train called Nadal, perfect on serve and accurate on return, the one that brought Sonego upside down, because he was unable to take any advantage on serve with his 1.91 height.
Nadal broke his serve five times, only lost his own once and dedicated impossible blows to him, such as a winning return without an angle that bounced directly into the service box and the line spit towards the winning points statistic. A point that lifted the central defender and sank Sonego, whom he only encouraged ironically after he made it 4-1 in the second set and broke Nadal's streak of nine games in a row.
The slight joy of the Italian did not change the course of a match ready for Nadal to sentence him as soon as possible, but Sonego's requests were heard.
With 6-1, 6-2 and 4-2, Sonego achieved his goal. After a couple of outings to the track, the tournament supervisor gave the green light for the track to be covered, due to lack of light.
Curiously, at the same time, Nick Kyrgios-Stefanos Tsitsipas was being played on track 1, with no complaints about the light. Sonego cut the rhythm of the match, with a thirteen-minute break. He managed to annoy Nadal, who lost the first two games after braking, and also misled him with a shout in the middle of a point that the Balearic reproached the transalpine.
Despite the setback, Nadal sealed the victory with the last two games of the match. There was a tense conversation on the net between the two players, but when Sonego left the court, Nadal settled it with applause in front of his rival.
In the round of 16, Nadal will play Botic Van de Zandschulp, whom he already defeated at Roland Garros this year. The Dutchman defeated Richard Gasquet in the third round.