Sport Nadal not interested in excuses after Rome exit
Up to 1,000 fans to be allowed in for Italian Open tennis
ROME (AP) — Up to 1,000 spectators will be allowed in to watch the semifinals and finals of the Italian Open tennis tournament, the government said Friday. The tournament, which features nine-time champion Rafael Nadal and top-ranked Novak Djokovic, has so far been played without fans because of the coronavirus pandemic. “Starting with the semifinals and finals of the (Italian Open), up to 1,000 spectators can watch all sports competitions that are held outdoors and which scrupulously respect the rules in terms of social distancing, masks and reserved seating,” Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said.
(Reuters) - Rafa Nadal refused to make excuses for his shock defeat by Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals of the Italian Open, insisting that his focus is now on fine-tuning his game ahead of the French Open which begins Sept. 27.
The nine-time Rome champion looked well off the pace in his 6-2 7-5 loss to the 15th-ranked Argentine, an opponent he had defeated nine straight times heading into Saturday's encounter in the Italian capital.
AP PHOTOS: Italian grape harvest plows on through pandemic
LATINA, Italy (AP) — Change can come slowly to Italy’s centuries-old wine industry, but the coronavirus pandemic has radically altered the path from vine to table in a matter of months, beginning with the fall harvest. At the Casale Del Giglio winery in the Agro Pontino area south of Rome, a group of workers moved steadily through the vines wearing masks in a searing September heat. They dropped purple Petit Verdot grapes into black buckets and then into the back of a truck rumbling between the rows. © Provided by Associated Press A worker harvests Petit Verdot grapes in the vineyard of Casale del Giglio, in Latina, near Rome, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020.
"We can find excuses, but I didn't play well enough. Then we have to think internally, 'Why? How I can fix it?'" the 34-year-old Spaniard told reporters. "Now is not the moment to find excuses. It's just to accept that I didn't play well enough."
"It was not my night. He played a great match, I think, and I didn't. These things can happen. After such a long time without competing, I played two good matches, and now I played a bad one against a good opponent.
"That's how it is. I just want to congratulate Diego and I'm going to keep working."
Nadal, who skipped the U.S. Open in New York due to COVID-19 concerns, said he would regroup before heading to Paris, where he will bid for a record-extending 13th title.
"It's a completely special and unpredictable year. I probably will go back home and then let's see what's going on," the 19-time Grand Slam champion said.
Italians vote in regional elections, referendum in test for coalition
Italians vote in regional elections, referendum in test for coalitionROME (Reuters) - Italians began voting on Sunday in a raft of local ballots and a referendum, with the ruling coalition under pressure in its first electoral test since the coronavirus crisis.
"I did my job here. I did a couple things well and other things bad. I'm going to keep working and keep practising with the right attitude and try to give myself a chance to be ready."
(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)
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Thiem admits tough fight ahead to replace 'Big Three' .
US Open champion Dominic Thiem admitted Monday that he faces a stiff challenge to keep tennis high up in the public consciousness once Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic call it quits. Thiem, 27, captured his maiden Slam title in New York with a breathtaking five-set win over Alexander Zverev earlier this month, the first major final in six years not to feature at least one of the 'Big Three'. However, US broadcaster ESPN said that ratings for that championship match were down 48%.Both Federer and Nadal opted not to play the US Open while Djokovic was disqualified in the last 16.