Rafa Nadal had to save a "break" ball in the first game of the match. A complicated duel was anticipated. Logically, opposite was Berdych, an old enemy, reborn in this beginning of 2019 after having fallen a lot in the ranking because of a year complicated by injuries. But the forecast was far from what actually happened. The number two of the world tuned his racket, and he blew smoke of so many winning or damaging rights for his rival that he put. The Czech, a great puncher, went into crisis. Without the help of his service for a long time (only 38 percent of first serves in the initial set, only 35 in the second), Berdych could not find a way to overwhelm the Balearic Islands. Nadal was good, was good and could make his favorite stroke comfortably. He had his opponent from one side to the other, and, on the move, the Czech's blows lose effectiveness. In this way he won nine games in a row the left-hander of Manacor. The tenth took the first Berdych, and held it up with a fist. The audience gave an ovation of those that have a certain tone of humiliation, they come to say: finally, it was time. But it was a small parenthesis, because Nadal took the set 6-1 after the previous 6-0.
Rafa was beating up an opponent who was having a great performance in Australia, with wins against Edmund and Schwartzman. Very involved in the track, very aggressive, you can see a fantastic version of Nadal in all the senses: physical, tennis and mental. His legs move, he reaches well to hit and the ball runs. The comfort of the first two rounds was not logical, and in the third set there was a game. Berdych's service percentage improved and the match was balanced. Nadal had his first difficulties right at the end of the set. After winning three games in white with his serve, his opponent began to subtract something better and even had a ball to win the set, which Rafa saved with a serve a right, the play that is repeating so much in Melbourne. The tiebreak was reached, and the Czech also took advantage, 4-3, but lost two points in a row and became angry with the world. He complained to the chairman, the charismatic Mohamed Lahyani, for the clock that counts the seconds they have to get out. The referee then confessed: "It is broken." The Czech descended and Nadal followed his own to close the game and get into the quarterfinals. The match ended with more winning shots (32 by 24) than a rival who has their style of play in them.
Now a surprise awaits him, the young American Frances Tiafoe, who just the day he turned 21 gave himself a triumph against Dimitrov (7-5, 7-6 [8/6]6-7 [1/7] and 7-5). Tiafoe is a muscle bag of almost 90 kilos that moves very well on the track and has a great right. He has celebrated his triumphs by paying homage to NBA player LeBron James. Is brave. It is grown. "Be prepared," he said when asked what would happen if his next opponent was Nadal (the match against Berdych was not over yet).