Maria Francisca Perello could barely watch as Rafael Nadal fought for his life against David Goffin
Rafael Nadal pulled off an escape act of the highest order against David Goffin at the 2022 Madrid Masters. He saved four match points before beating him 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (9) in the third round.
The Spaniard almost had the match in the bag in the second set, but the Belgian saved two match points to stretch him to three sets. The deciding tiebreaker was one of the most tense periods of the contest. The two players traded shots with impunity and refused to budge until Goffin’s defense finally gave out.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion appeared supremely calm and composed under the circumstances. He even pulled out two magical drop shots even when he was facing match point. However, his fans decidedly couldn’t keep calm. One of them turned out to be the World No. 4’s wife Maria Francisca Perello, who was probably the most tense spectator of the evening.
Perello doesn’t often accompany her husband to matches, but with the Madrid Masters taking place closer to home, she made an exception. Her reward for the trip was a small bout of anxiety. The cameras caught the former World No. 1’s wife trying her best to hold her nerves as the action unfolded.
At one point, she even resorted to praying, an action that probably ended up saving the 35-year-old at the end. To be fair, Maria Francisca Perello also had the opportunity to pump her fists more than a few times on the night. However, it was the prayer gesture that truly encapsulated the feelings of Nadal fans all over the world.
Rafael Nadal to take on Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals of the 2022 Madrid Masters
Rafael Nadal next takes on Carlos Alcaraz at the 2022 Madrid Masters
Following the victory over David Goffin, Rafael Nadal will take on countryman Carlos Alcaraz for a spot in the semifinals on Friday, May 6. The teenager disposed off ninth seed Cameron Norrie in the quarterfinals to set up a meeting with his childhood idol.
The duo have faced off twice till date, with both fixtures going in favor of the 21-time Grand Slam champion. The Mallorcan beat the World No. 10 in straight sets during last year’s Madrid Masters. Meanwhile, he needed three sets to prevail over him at the 2022 Indian Wells.
The match-up is guaranteed to be a blockbuster and is one of the most highly anticipated clashes of the tournament. A win against Alcaraz would pit the World No. 4 against either top seed Novak Djokovic or 12th seed Hubert Hurkacz.