Rafael Nadal continued his charge at Roland Garros with a victory over Jannik Sinner | Tennis news

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Rafael Nadal defeated 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner in a match that ended in the wee hours of Wednesday morning in Paris.

Rafael Nadal had his first real test at Roland Garros this year, but the defending champion stayed on track to clinch a record 20th Grand Slam title with a straight-set victory over teenage sensation Jannik Sinner.

The Spaniard, who was looking to match Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles, was stretched as rarely before by 19-year-old Sinner, but he took the victory 7-6 (7-4 ) 6-4 6-1 in a match that ended at 12:25 in Paris.

“Sinner is a very, very young talent with a lot of power, good shots. For two sets it was difficult, especially in the second set, I was lucky to be back, ”said Nadal. “The conditions were a bit difficult, he was hitting every ball very hard and with this cold, my speed is not there. It was hard for me to get him out of position.

“Now I have two, well almost a day and a half to rest and train. “

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Sinner, the first Roland Garros debutant to reach the last eight since Nadal in 2005, confirmed his immense potential but just lacked composure when it mattered.

He had already beaten two top-15 ranked players en route to a first Grand Slam quarter-final.

The Italian pushed Nadal into the opening set, taking the lead 6-5 before the Spaniard – chasing a 13th Roland Garros crown – recovered to force the tie-break he won.

Sinner, currently ranked 75 in the world, bounced back from second to take a 3-1 lead, but Nadal relied on his experience to come back up and retake the set before running away with him in the third.

The result sets up an enticing semi-final between Nadal and Schwartzman.

Nadal has won nine of his previous 10 games, but Schwartzman won the most recent, last month on clay in Rome.

“He comes with great confidence, doesn’t he?” Two weeks in a row, ”Nadal said of Schwartzman. “He’s in the final in Rome, he’s in the semi-final here. He beat me there. It is more confidence for him. I know it. ”

This will be Nadal’s 13th semi-final at Roland Garros and the 34th of all Grand Slam tournaments. He is 24-0 in the semifinals and final at Roland Garros, part of a 98-2 mark on red soil that he has dominated since 2005.

Sinner, the reigning ATP Next Gen Finals champion, showed how talented he was by pushing Nadal

Sinner, the reigning ATP Next Gen Finals champion, showed how talented he was by pushing Nadal

Sinner has been billed as a future top 10 player, but the teenager says his only thought is to work hard to improve his game.

“I am a person who looks neither in the future nor in the past, always in the present,” he said. “In the end, you have to show everything. I haven’t won anything so far. Okay, Next Gen, it’s a tournament. In the end, I didn’t win anything.

“It’s just head down and trying to improve, trying to play hour after hour on the court, which I have to do. We will see in 12 months where I am. ”

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