Nadal and Alcaraz, Semifinal Mission

Rafa Nadal during a training session before starting his participation at the US Open. , AFP

US Open

After a few weeks with physical problems from the Balearic Islands and a drop in the game from Murcia, the challenge for the Spaniards at the US Open is to go ahead until they reach the final of the season’s last major.

Arthur Ashe Court in New York could be the scene of the third clash of the season between Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz. The table provided that, if each won their first five matches, the best ranked Spanish would face each other in the semi-finals. A road that is still long and with many boulders along the way, especially for Mercian, but it allows us to dream of a train wreck at the last Grand Slam of the season.

For Nadal, this is an opportunity to add another title to his grand account and increase it to 23. This season has been great in this type of tournament, and after winning Australia and Roland Garros, he stands 17–0 in New York. in your locker. He reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon, but this did not count as a loss as he withdrew before the match against Nick Kyrgios.

He had never reached such a record in his career until this year, although his best season at a Grand Slam was in 2010, when he won Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open after making quarters in Australia. His team raises hopes at their most spectacular Grand Slam since Roland Garros. Here he has won in 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2019, and has missed the last two editions, one due to the pandemic situation and the other due to a leg injury that kept him off the slopes for five months. He will make his debut on Wednesday against a guest, Rinki Hijikata, and the most dangerous thing he has until the semifinals is Diego Schwartzman in the round of 16, and Cameron Nori, Andrey Rublev or Denis Shapovalov in the quarterfinals. The draw was sweet.

But the preparation was not as it was. Nadal has been unemployed for a month and a half due to a stomach injury at Wimbledon. He began training at his academy and had to drop out of the Canadian Masters 1,000 because he was unprepared for the competition. His return to the courts was delayed until Cincinnati, where he could barely play a game. He fell to the eventual champion, Borna Coric, although he was the only tennis player throughout the week to win a set against the Croatian.

Badosa, Muguruza and Redemption

His first game in New York, where he submits a week’s training, will be key to finding out what Balearic’s real condition is, given his bodyweight loss in recent years.

The much grounded Alcaraz is coming, after a season that has been exhausting and in which it is his last chance to win the Grand Slam he said he was set to win. After a brutal half-year, with titles in Miami, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Barcelona, ​​Alcaraz deflated after Roland Garros, where Alexander Zverev gave him a reality check, and has since only made the finals in Hamburg and Umag. made a place in. The US tour has been nothing to write home about and they lost in the first round in Canada and the quarterfinals in Cincinnati.

Ideal with Flushing Meadows

Still, Mercian has a norm with Flushing Meadows. Here he made himself famous with his first Grand Slam quarter-finals last year and created a bond with the public that spanned all the tournaments he played. He is going to be one of the favorites in the crowd and in the highest tennis tournament in the world, a great point in his favor. Their main obstacles on their way to those semifinals are Borna Couric in the third round and their executioner Jannik Sinner at Wimbledon and Umag in the quarterfinals.

Furthermore, both Nadal and Alcaraz depend on themselves to finish the tournament as number one in the world. If either of them wins the US Open, he will beat Daniil Medvedev as the current best racquet on the tour. The title-defending Russian is one of the favorites in New York in the great absence of three-time champion Novak Djokovic, who has been left without playing the last Grand Slam of the year due to refusal to vaccinate. His absence would see him lose 1,200 points in the standings and the Serb would drop out of the top 10 for the first time since July 2018.

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