In this Wimbledon that ages and loses the essence of the game of serve and net, Spain grows, becomes stronger than ever and defies history because, in the "worst" area for national tennis players, there are two in the semifinals. It is the first time, in the men's circuit, in this tournament loaded with tradition that Roberto Bautista and Rafael Nadal break with a week and a half of exhibitions on the green that they want to round on Sunday, impossible to stop the desire to see a Spanish final in the London herb.
Because these tracks, which were inaugurated in 1877, traversed this round Manuel Alonso in 1921, Manolo Santana in 1963 and in 1966, Andrés Gimeno in 1970 and Manuel Orantes in 1972. Then came Nadal (in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2018). But to date, all had sailed alone, especially the Balearic, in this tennis of the 21st century. Now he has a strong and capable partner that breaks his roof in a Grand Slam and beyond. Never so far away Baptist. Never so strong. Never so convinced. The sixth Spanish male name in the semifinals.
"Being in the semifinals both is a special moment for Spanish tennis. How much did not happen? Never in masculine. It is very special because it is also on a surface that has always been complicated, "Nadal expressed about the shared milestone. And more, for the protagonist who accompanies him. "I am delighted that it is Roberto Bautista who has achieved this. After all that he has lived, I can not be happier, he deserves the best ».
And the best thing is to be in the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career. A feat won in a battle against the impossible and against himself. Because the Castellon had tennis, but he lacked the conviction that now comes with 31 years and with which he ended the hopes of another rookie in such golden lands, Guido Pella.
Baptist, without vacations
It was the head, above the racket, that led the Castellón in an even match in style and pressure. He was the strongest at the service, from the bottom up and even to endure the nerves of being in the best of the tournament, with the best. But so much is the surprise that his trainer, Pepe Vendrell, is struck by the attention received and his pupil confessed that he did not even enter his schedule to continue in London at this stage of competition. «I had planned to be in Ibiza right now. We had everything organized. My six friends are there, but it feels better to be in London, "smiled the 22 of the world, happy on the grass, and with confidence through the clouds. «I started with a lot of enthusiasm. I have been superior to Pella in the first set and it has anguished me a little to see me with 5-4 down because I felt that I was doing better. After winning the first set and the second I had a small downturn. But I have been able to recover and I am happy to have been able to overcome so many difficulties, "the Castellón continued, parking his holidays in the Mediterranean.
Nor did Rafael Nadal intend to return to his sea. He still has many tricks to show in this year in which, both he and his team, waste conviction that this time, yes there will be a title in their hands.
He was close in 2018, and only Djokovic and a closed roof prevented him in a semifinals that were divided into two chapters. In this 2019 still walks more firmly in their meetings in which only one set has been left, before Nick Kyrgios. Yesterday, it extinguished the gunpowder of Sam Querrey, the last gunner of this edition, with that capacity that exhibits and improves with the age of appreciating where the ball pot will go and placing itself in the best position to counterattack with the same power.
If the American had only stolen the service once, the Spaniard did it six times. Three in the first round, elongated because Querrey showed that he not only has serve, but that he can also wear a wrist and touch when necessary. Two in the second and two in the third. And without the consistency of the first blow – Wimbledon leaves with 122 "aces", absolute leader -, the 198 centimeters of height of the 65 of the world were annulled and without reaction. "I am playing with a lot of intensity, I take out and rest very well and I recognize that I am happy to have gotten here and how I am playing", analyzed after the match, sheet of statistics in hand because we must continue. «If they had asked me in Monte Carlo if I would be here, I think I would have said no. At Roland Garros maybe yes because he was playing well. They are sensations ».
It's time to advance in personal stories. For Bautista, Novak Djokovic. For Nadal, Roger Federer. But also in the joint. In the Cathedral, few better scenarios to write together a beautiful chapter of Spanish men's tennis, Lilí Álvarez and Garbiñe Muguruza reached this round, but those who celebrated a semifinal together were Conchita Martínez and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, in 1995. (tagsToTranslate) Spanish (t) wimbledon