Tough luck: Barty was leading 6-4, 2-1 when she pulled up to receive treatment .   | Photo Credit: \

Italian Open | Rafael Nadal marches pasts Alexander Zverev

Gauff in semifinals after Barty retires injured

by · The Hindu

Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal dispatched his Madrid Masters slayer Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-4 to reach the Italian Open semifinals on Friday.

Second-seed Nadal had lost to Zverev in the Madrid last-eight last week.

But the 34-year-old Spaniard shook off his marathon 3hr 30min quarterfinal battle past Denis Shapovalov where he needed to save two match points.

Nadal powered to 4-0 before sixth seed Zverev held serve with the 20-time Grand Slam winner saving break point to take the first set.

The German rallied in the second set but Nadal saved eight break points to seal victory on his first match point after two hours.

Nadal plays American Reilly Opelka for a place in the final for an 11th time as he warms up for the French Open starting on May 30.

Opelka, ranked 47, reached his first Masters semifinal with a 7-5, 7-6(2) win over Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis.

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty retired injured in the quarterfinals, just two weeks before Roland Garros.

Top seed Barty, the 2019 French Open champion, was leading 6-4, 2-1 when she pulled up to receive treatment during her match against American Cori Gauff.

The Australian suffered a right arm injury, the WTA said.

The results: Quarterfinals: Reilly Opelka bt Federico Delbonis 7-5, 7-6(2); Rafael Nadal bt Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-4.

Third round: Lorenzo Sonego bt Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(5); Andrey Rublev bt Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4; Federico Delbonis bt Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(3), 6-1; Alexander Zverev bt Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Women: Quarterfinals: Petra Martic bt Jessica Pegula 7-5, 6-4; Karolina Pliskova bt Jelena Ostapenko 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(1); Cori Gauff bt Ashleigh Barty 4-6, 1-2, ret.

Third round: Elina Svitolina bt Garbine Muguruza 6-4, 6-2; Jelena Ostapenko bt Angelique Kerber 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.