Reality Check: Hubert Hurkacz smashes a dismal Rafael Nadal at Rome Open

Saturday, 11 May 2024 at 14:54
Hubert Hurkacz's beating against Rafael Nadal at the Rome Open leaves him searching for answers in the hunt for Roland Garros. A reality check from the Pole to the Spaniard, who lost 6-1/6-3. The most worrying thing is that he has been seen playing worse in Italy than in Madrid.
Hurkacz had not won a match at the Rome Masters for four years, but he came out at the Foro Italico as if he were Nicola Pietrangeli himself. The Pole, with pure movements of clay, gave no option to a Rafael Nadal who did not see it coming from the start in the first set and was literally overwhelmed by his rival (6-1).
Despite the bad serve of the Pole, Nadal was not good in the important moments and missed the 7 break points available to him. Hurkacz, meanwhile, took 2 of 5 and went to the break with the feeling that he had closer to win again on Italian soil.
At the beginning of the second set, despite the blow of the first Rafa won with difficulty his serve and pulled out his fist and shouted his classic 'Come on' with the Foro Italico chanting "Rafa, Rafa". It was the first time that Nadal was ahead in the duel after an hour on the court.
After winning his serve with ease, the Pole returned to fast pace from the bottom of the court before a Rafa who was playing very very short, without depth, without hurting his opponent. Again broke the Polish serve with a point to Nadal with a passing after a bad volley. The face was a picture.
There was no improvement from there to the end of the match. The Pole kept winning his service games and broke again to close the set and the match 6-3. Lovely moment at the end of the match with Rafa saying goodbye to the Foro Italico.
We will see what happens now. Rafa commented that he was training very well and that he wanted to give everything on the court. It wasn't because of physique, it was because of tennis: Hurkacz, top 10, has given a reality check to a Rafa who hasn't lived up to his history on this occasion. Will he go to Paris?

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