Nadal saves four deputies to Edge Goffin | ATP Circuit

Rafael Nadal once again showed his legendary fighting spirit to bounce back from the brink of victory and defeat on Thursday at the Mutua Madrid Open. Later david goffin saved two match points in the second set, Nadal erased four for his rival in a decisive tie-break to advance by the narrowest, 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(9), in three hours and nine minutes.

One night after being in the stands in Real Madrid’s great escape in the Champions League semi-finals, Nadal worked his own magic in the Caja Mágica. It’s been 24 hours to remember for Spanish supporters, with the 35-year-old local favorite shaking the Manolo Santana Stadium like Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, sending fans from stunned silence to delirium in a matter of moments.

“It was an unforgettable night. The spirit that Real Madrid has is simply incredible,” Nadal said after his victory. “For me today, in a way it has been an inspiration in the way I have been fighting for my entire tennis career.

“Honestly, it was a very tough match. I think I played at a very high level. But at the same time I’m not entirely happy because I have to finish the match in two sets, for sure.”

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Nadal saved two of Goffin’s four match points with drop shots, and a third when the Belgian netted a short forehand from an attacking position. By winning the decider, Nadal extended his perfect tiebreak record in Madrid to 10-0 since the event moved to clay in 2009. He also prevented Goffin from becoming the fourth man to beat him from a match point on clay. , with the last instance. comes to Buenos Aires in 2016 against Dominic Thiem.

“Three hours and 10 [minutes] on the court, that helps increase my physical performance,” Nadal added. “A very important win, saving match points. That is confidence, that gives me the opportunity to move forward. I need games and I need a day like today to be in better shape beforehand.”

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After going through a tough first set, Nadal redlined early in the second and looked headed for an outright win at the Manolo Santana Stadium. But when the Spaniard’s play dipped slightly late, Goffin played some of his best tennis of the match to extend the contest, winning four straight 3-5 games.

The tense final set seemed destined for a tie-break, and the drama only increased in a frenetic finale. Nadal was left on his feet when Goffin went wide on the Spaniard’s fourth match point, and the second of the tiebreaker.

More than three hours earlier, Nadal took to the court in search of a record 37 ATP Masters 1000 titles, but quickly found himself an early break at the Manolo Santana Stadium. But from 2-3, he managed to win the last four games of the first set despite some uncharacteristic errors.

Nadal took command of the match with a pristine run of eight points to start the second set. After Goffin battled two to hold on in the opening game, Nadal found a new level to hold on and then break at zero. The Spaniard began to attack with more power and precision on his groundstrokes, firing winners from both wings as he began his climb. The first real sign of intent came with a laser backhand that helped him get on the board in the verse.

The third seed was sailing on serve in the second until three loose errors gave Goffin a 4-5 lead. The Belgian took full advantage to force a decider but was unable to get over the line against Nadal, who advanced to a record 99 ATP Masters 1000 quarter-finals and 16 in Madrid.

Nadal has already done his part to prepare a Spanish quarterfinal against Carlos Alcarazwho will follow him on the stadium court against the ninth seed cameron norrie. Nadal beat his compatriot in the second round in Madrid last year before making it 2-0 on his ATP Head2Head with a three-set win in the Indian Wells semi-finals.

Nadal is also unbeaten against Norrie at 4-0, including a straight-set win in the Acapulco final in February.

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