Rafael Nadal won Saturday in the Italian Open semifinals against Richard Gasquet. “It was a complicated situation on my serve in the [first set], but I managed to pull through. I’m happy to make the final after a difficult week,” Nadal said. Nadal will be going for a sixth try at a win on Sunday’s final. He will be playing Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray. Novak Djokovic beat Nadal in the three finals they have played this year. This includes the Madrid Open played last weekend. This was Djokovic’s first win against Nadal on clay. Nadal talked about facing him again. “Every aspect of the game will be important. I know Djokovic is playing at an exceptional level right now, but I just have to fight to the end like I always do. If I don’t beat him tomorrow, then the next match. I’m happy with my clay-court season. How I’m playing in the last couple of matches is the way forward, more aggressively,” Nadal said.
Gasquet really worked Nadal with a varied game plan before he seemed to run out of energy. He had many one-handed backhand for winners and also stepped forward to the net to conclude points. After 5-5 in the first set, Gasquet allowed Nadal to take control. Nadal had first break point of the set then Gasquet came through with a serve out wide to the net. Nadal hit with a backhand winner—taking the 6-5 lead. Even though he lost this one, Gasquet should keep confident for the French Open, which will be starting next weekend.