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Rafael Nadal v Zizou Bergs LIVE: Tennis score and latest updates from Italian Open

Rafael Nadal is back in action at the Italian Open
Rafael Nadal is back in action at the Italian Open (REUTERS)

Rafael Nadal continues his preparation for the French Open later this month and takes on Belgian underdog Zizou Bergs this afternoon at the Italian Open clay.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion has said he expects to retire after this season after dealing with a hip problem for most of last year that required surgery, but a muscle tear in Brisbane prevented his comeback in January.

The 37-year-old returned to the tour last month as the clay swing began and he got valuable match practice in Barcelona and Madrid, with this week’s ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome a third straight tournament in which he could test himself.

Nadal will be the favorite in today’s opener against Bergs – a 24-year-old Belgian qualifier – and the 22-time grand slam winner will be hoping for a relatively serene passage as he gets more sets in his legs ahead of the French Open starts on 26. Be able to.

Follow all the action from the Italian Open in our blog below:


Rafael Nadal* 3-1 Zizou Bergs

Vintage Nadal! A laser beam of a forehand that Zizou Bergs caught with a series of sledgehammers on his backhand side.

That is also useful, because Bergs tries to serve and volley, but is hindered by an excellent return. Three break points…and the second is taken!

Harry Latham CoyleMay 9, 2024 12:42 PM


Rafael Nadal 2-1 Zizou Bergs*

A beautiful backhand down the line drops Bergs a foot inside the baseline, showing off his shooting ability in these early proceedings and looking completely unfazed to be facing the king of clay. However, a bunny bounce just before he strikes sets up an attempted repeat shot long afterwards, and a clapped forehand into the net gives Rafael Nadal a second game on serve.

Harry Latham CoyleMay 9, 2024 12:37 PM


Rafael Nadal* 1-1 Zizou Bergs

That’s a nice start to Zizou Bergs’ serve though, an excellent serve and a sharp forehand winner that got him started. He has a good serving game and an upright, powerful stroke, although a double fault at 30-0 frustrates the Belgian.

It doesn’t matter – back to business with an ace. A missed volley but Bergs closes the ball.

Harry Latham CoyleMay 9, 2024 12:32 PM


Rafael Nadal 1-0 Zizou Bergs*

An easy enough start for Rafael Nadal, who held the 15 with a big serve in the center, forcing an error.

Harry Latham CoyleMay 9, 2024 12:28 PM


Rafael Nadal* 0-0 Zizou Bergs

A hit forehand drags Bergs wide, and the Belgian cannot keep his hooked backhand in play. First point for Nadal.

Harry Latham CoyleMay 9, 2024 12:26 PM


Rafael Nadal* 0-0 Zizou Bergs

Okay, here we go. Rafael Nadal will serve first.

Rafael Nadal will face Zizou Bergs in Rome (AP)

Harry Latham CoyleMay 9, 2024 12:25 PM


Rafael Nadal vs Zizou Bergs

A huge cheer for Rafael Nadal as he emerges into the bright Italian sun.

Harry Latham CoyleMay 9, 2024 12:18 PM


Rafael Nadal vs Zizou Bergs

But attention will mainly be focused on the fitness and form of Rafael Nadal in the run-up to Roland Garros. He has won this tournament 10 times, but even if he misses out on the trophy, a deep run here would be a big step forward in getting him ready for the level of grand slam tennis.

Harry Latham CoyleMay 9, 2024 12:16 PM


Who is Zizou Bergs?

This is a good opportunity for Belgian Zizou Bergs, with the 24-year-old starting to threaten the world’s top 100 but still without a truly significant win at ATP Tour level. Named, yes, after Zinedine Zidane (or to be more specific after a football training session his father used to complete, tagged with the Frenchman’s nickname), the Belgian is coming off encouraging form on the Challenger circuit in Florida to lose in the final in Sarasota to Thanasi Kokkinakis before defeating Mitchell Krueger in Tallahassee to defend his title.

Harry Latham CoyleMay 9, 2024 12:13


Rafael Nadal next in the middle…

She really had to work to secure the win, saving a set point in the second to make it a tiebreak, but that’s a good win in the end because Linda Noskova. The Czech teenager, a quarter-finalist at the Australian Open earlier this year, will be hoping to build on that second-round win on a surface that hasn’t necessarily been her favorite so far in her young career.

Noskova leaves as the crowds in Rome swell in anticipation of Rafael Nadal’s arrival.

Harry Latham CoyleMay 9, 2024 12:06 PM