Tennis: Rafael Nadal crashes out of Italian open; Semifinal matches to be held today

Rafael Nadal's first tournament in seven months ended with a 6-2, 7-5 loss to Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open.

Rafael Nadal’s first tournament in seven months ended with a 6-2, 7-5 loss to Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open.

Nadal, a nine-time champion in Rome, had never lost to the 15th-ranked Schwartzman in nine previous meetings. For two months during the lockdown, Nadal said, he didn’t touch a tennis racket.

Earlier, Novak Djokovic lost his cool again midway through a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over German qualifier Dominik Koepfer — less than two weeks after getting defaulted from the U.S. Open.

In the women’s tournament, top-seeded Simona Halep reached the last four when Kazakh opponent Yulia Putintseva retired midway through their match due to a lower back injury.

Two-time Grand Slam winner Garbiñe Muguruza eliminated U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The other semifinal will feature last year’s French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova against fellow Czech and defending champion Karolina Pliskova. Vondrousova beat Svitolina 6-3, 6-0, and Pliskova defeated Elise Mertens 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.

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