Spain will play this Saturday against Australia the semifinals of the ATP Cup after defeating with a lot of work and suffering in the quarterfinals a Belgium that fought the ticket until the ‘super tie-break’ of the decisive doubles match.
He had more work than the Spanish team expected to get rid of the Belgians, who they were surprised thanks, especially to the great game of his number one, David Goffin, which was able to beat in two sets (6-4, 7-6) to Rafael Nadal and take the fight to a spectacular final game where the Balearic and Pablo Carreño were on the wire.
The Manacorí and the Spaniard had to deal for more than two hours with Joran Vliegen and Sander Gille, a blended couple that did not make the pass expensive. The Belgians were powerful in the service and from there they maintained their options, strengthened when they took the ‘tie-break’ that decided the first part (9/7).
Encouraged by this mood advantage on the scoreboard, the rival duo stood firm on the track, without giving options to serve and threatening the rest. The Spaniards had to save two ‘break’ balls in the eighth game and finally found their chance to avoid another awkward ‘sudden death’.
The video went into action to confirm that Vliegen had invaded the opposite field to run a simple volley to give the first break of the whole encounter to Nadal and Carreño, who then knew how to have a temper to hold his serve, raising a break option. In the ‘super tie-break’, both maintained their strength and knocked down the rival resistance (10/7) to meet this Saturday, starting at 8.30 Spanish time, with host Australia led by Nick Kyrgios and Alex de Miñaur.
Goffin surprises Nadal
Before this match, Belgium had shown that it was not a stone guest Thanks to David Goffin. Rocourt’s deployed his best level to end the great streak of victories that Rafa Nadal dragged from his defeat against Alexander Zverev in the first game of the ATP Finals.
Precisely in the c‘teachers’ ita of 2017, the Belgian had his only victory against the Balearic in his five clashes, but on that occasion there was some physical decline in the Spanish, which did not happen in his duel in Sydney where Nadal never felt comfortable.
The winner of 19 ‘Grand Slams’ nor found the real way to dominate Goffin. Too erratic and no rhythm with your service, he ran into a great version of his rival, very sharp in all his punches, especially with a parallel setback that did a lot of damage.
Nadal soon saw that I didn’t expect a simple game. He raised with quality a 0-40 in the third game, but could not do so in a similar situation in the fifth and eleven of the world took an advantage, ephemeral because the Spaniard, who had already threatened the rest too, replied instantly.
There came his best moments in the game, but was not able to complete a clear 0-40 with 4-3 on the scoreboard and his weakness in the service ended up costing him expensive with another break that Goffin did confirm and make him lose his first set from London.
The picture was complicated as soon as the second set began. The Belgian number one broke again and took an advantage that would no longer be released thanks to its solidity in the exchanges and the continuous failures of the twelve times won from Roland Garros, whose face denoted that he was not having a good time.
However, true to his character, he grabbed the track and ended up finding his chance in the eighth game, despite Goffin’s resistance. This endured the improvement of the manacorí and reached the ‘sudden death’, where it returned to be more solid to give life to its own.
Baptist does not fail
Rocourt’s left the initial triumph of Roberto Bautista 6-1, 6-4 against Kimmer Coppejans. The Spaniard, who remains firm in this tournament where he is taking his matches forward with enough solvency, did not give his opponent too many options, although he suffered much more in the second quarter, where he had to lift a ‘break’ of disadvantage to seal the victory by the fast track.
The simplest was the first where Baptist was very strong with the service, with which he only awarded four points, only one playing with first. Coppejans did not find the formula in the rest and neither firmly replied to the service, especially when he had to play with seconds.
Thus, after the initial 1-1, the Spanish tennis player took five straight games to quickly finish the first set, which had nothing to do with the second. The Castellón wasted two breaking balls in the first game and his opponent did not waste his first chances to the rest to break and get 3-0.
Baptist did not get nervous and managed to balance quickly before entering the decisive line where he returned to pull experience, especially in the long eighth game where Coppejans had two ‘break’ balls. He did not take advantage of them and the ten of the world ‘stole’ the line-up followed by sentencing.