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5/14/2011Rafaholics ™



Nadal beats Gasquet to reach Italian Open final 

"Every aspect of the game will be important," Nadal said about potentially facing Djokovic again. "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 playing better every day as final approaches

“I am playing better every day. Another final – six in a row, it’s unbelievable. I had a tough week and so I am very happy for everything,” said the world no.1 in reference to his travails in the first round where qualifier Paolo Lorenzi, ranked 140 places below him in the world, took him to three sets, after which it was revealed that the Majorcan was suffering from a fever which almost led him to withdraw later in the week.

The match was of high quality, and for that to be the case, it needs two good players. “He is playing fantastic and he is scoring well,” said Nadal in praise of Gasquet. “It is fantastic – after winning against Roger (Federer) a very tough match and fighting a lot, all the time he was there, focused and fighting. I am happy to see him back at his best now. He is a good friend and he’s a really good guy. He played a very good first set, he played aggressive and he is better when he plays aggressive in my opinion. He stays three metres from the back of the baseline and he has enough potential to be more aggressive and he is doing some fantastic play in my opinion because he is a very confident player and he knows how to play tennis. It was a tough first set and I saved a few tough situations with myself and I played well today.”
Nadal: "Djokovic is the favorite"
"It will be a very difficult game, but there is no reason not to play the most and have no confidence in myself," said Nadal, who acknowledged that the current number 2 "is the favorite."

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