9:52 p.m., September 16, 2020
The world number two Rafael Nadal won the Masters Series tournament in Rome on Wednesday against his compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta smooth with 6: 1, 6: 1. Carreno Busta only faced the semi-finals at the US Open in New York Alexander Zverev lost.
The 34-year-old did not reveal any weaknesses. “It was a perfect start for me. I played solidly, had some good strokes with the forehand and backhand. I didn’t expect it to go so well,” said Nadal at the winner’s interview in front of an empty crowd. Nadal is now either on the Canadian in the second round Milos Raonic or the Serbs Dusan Lajovic to meet. Nadal had won the title in Acapulco at the end of February before the forced break due to the coronavirus pandemic. He decided not to travel to the US Open.
Previously had Novak Djokovic in the second round the Italian qualifiers Salvatore Caruso defeated 6: 3, 6: 2. In the second round, Djokovic now meets his Serbian compatriot Filip Krajinovic. Djokovic is also trying to polish up his image in Rome after the incidents in New York. Ten days ago the 17-time Grand Slam winner was with the US Open disqualified after hitting a line judge in the neck with a knocked ball away.
“Time heals wounds and I have to take it as a great lesson,” said Djokovic in Rome. After what happened, he longed for the earliest possible match. “Because I think the feeling on the court should be positive,” said Djokovic after the game. He stated that he had not “felt any emotional or mental block”. “I felt very good.”
Djokovic has won 27 of his 28 games this year. It aims at those starting on September 27th French Open in Roland Garros his 18th Grand Slam title.
In double stands Jurgen Melzer with his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin after a 6: 4, 1: 6, 11: 9 against Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi / Stefanos Tsitsipas (PAK / GRE) in the round of 16. Oliver Marach failed with the South African Raven Klaasen after a 5: 7, 5: 7 against Max Purcell/Luke Saville (OFF) on the first round.