Nadal Storms Past Sock In Miami
Spaniard flawless under the lights on Wednesday
A highly anticipated quarter-final clash on Wednesday at the Miami Open presented by Itau ended up being a dominant performance for fifth seed Rafael Nadal, who ended the inspired run of 13th seed Jack Sock 6-2, 6-3.
“I think I was under control during the whole first set. In the second set, it was so important to save that game at 0-2, 15/40, and then get the break back in the next game,” said Nadal. “It was two positive things in two straight games that probably created a lot of damage to him.”
Seeking his first title in Miami after finishing runner-up here on four occasions, Nadal will now play Fabio Fognini for a place in Sunday’s final. He leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head with the Italian 7-3, but the pair has split their past six matches. Their previous encounter in Miami was a one-sided affair, with Nadal recording a swift 6-2, 6-2 win in their 2014 fourth-round clash.
“I know him very well and he knows me very well. We played a few times and he’s beaten me a couple of times, too. It’s a tough match,” said Nadal. “He’s playing well, so it will be a good challenge. I need to play my best, keep playing aggressively like I did today and hope to have my chances.”
Nadal opened the match by immediately breaking Sock in the American’s first service game and racing to a 3-0 lead. Maintaining control of the baseline rallies, he continued to keep Sock off balance and grabbed a second break at 5-2 to take the opening set.
But Sock refused to go away quietly. Hitting his forehand with great authority, he broke Nadal to start the second set. The 13th seed had game points to grab a double break at 2-0, but the Spaniard managed to hold serve and then quickly regained momentum. Nadal leveled the match at 2-2 and a double fault from Sock on break point two games later gave the fifth seed a commanding advantage. He closed out the match on serve at the first attempt to wrap up the victory in one hour and 23 minutes. Nadal improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head against Sock to 3-0.