Rafael Nadal couldn’t have handled a bad situation any better. His quarterfinal match was suspended due to rain on Thursday with Nadal up 3-2 in the second set tiebreaker. He came out today with rain still threatening and a desire to finish the match quickly. And he did. Gonzalez won only 12 points today as Nadal finished up that tiebreaker, 7-2, and rolled to a 6-0 victory in the third. (They got in just under the wire; play was again suspended only about thirty minutes after the match was completed.) Gonzalez gave Rafa a helping hand; he had a Verdasco-esque implosion, mishitting forehands into the stands and throwing his racket.
Nadal is still staring at two more days of tennis in a row: he’s scheduled to play his semifinal match against Juan Martin del Potro tomorrow, and, were he to win, the final on Monday afternoon. A long, difficult match today would have been potentially disastrous. But with what amounted to a nice half-hour-long practice session against Gonzalez, Nadal’s awful weekend is looking a little bit rosier.