Rafael Nadal swats aside Fernando Verdasco to set up Stefanos Tsitsipas clash

Rafael Nadal serving

Defending champion Rafael Nadal overcame a poor start to brush aside Fernando Verdasco in the quarter-final of the Italian Open.

The second seed was broken in the first game of the match, but he bounced back to beat his fellow Spaniard 6-4, 6-0 in one hour and 39 minutes at Foro Italico.

Nadal managed to draw level in game six and then broke again in game 10 to take the opening set while the second set was one-way traffic.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner will face eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the final after the Greek advanced when Roger Federer withdrew due to a knee injury.

The duo met in the Madrid Open semi-final last week with Tsitsipas emerging victorious in three sets.

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