At the ATP tournament in Barcelona (clay / 1,702,800 euros) Rafael Nadal (ATP 3) beat Belarusian Ilya Ivashka (ATP 111) on Wednesday with some difficulty. Against all odds, Ivashka crossed the line 6-3 in the first set. Nadal straightened his back afterwards by bringing in the next two sets with 6-2 and 6-4.
In the eighth finals, Nadal will play against the winner of the game between the Japanese Kei Nishikori (ATP 39) and the Chilean Christian Garin (ATP 22).
Last week, Nadal played for the first time since the Australian Open in February. His return to the Masters 1,000 tournament in Monte Carlo was not an unqualified success. The Ukrainian Andrey Rublev (ATP 7) surprisingly took the Spaniard’s measure in the quarterfinals. Rublev eventually made it to the final, which he lost to the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (ATP 5).
Scolding Fabio Fognini disqualified
Fabio Fognini (ATP-27) was all too furious. The 33-year-old Italian was disqualified for scolding a line judge during his match in the second round against Spaniard Bernabé Zapata Miralles (ATP-147).
Fognini, ninth seed on the Catalan clay court, had already received a warning earlier in the match and had to leave the field 6-0, 4-4 behind. The Italian was not ready for his test piece. In 2017, he was kicked out of the US Open for insulting the chair umpire.
Disqualifications are rare in tennis. Last year it happened to the world’s number one Novak Djokovic at the US Open after hitting a ball on a linesman. “Bad Boy” Nick Kyrgios had to scratch out in Rome in 2019 after throwing a chair on the property.
Qualifier Zapata Miralles takes on his fellow countryman Pablo Carreno Busta (ATP-13), the sixth seed in the eighth finals.