Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Nadal ruthless in Rome, reaches last eight

The Road to La Decima Rafael Nadal wins maiden French Open on debut Tennis > French OpenVIDEO- The Road to La Decima Rafael Nadal wins maiden French Open on debut
Andrew Cummings | 18 May, 2018, 15:16

"I started with some mistakes on the return".

Seven-time champion Nadal - seeking to reclaim the number-one ranking he conceded last week - hammered Dzumhur 6-1 6-0 after Thiem had gone down in three sets to Fabio Fognini, the Austrian smashing a racquet in anger during an intense contest. "I think this was probably one of the three matches that I played this way in the past 12 months".

Nadal leads Fognini 10-3 winning their last five, but Italian does have two clay wins over Rafa back in 2015.

Four-time champion Novak Djokovic also advanced, beating Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-2.

"At the beginning, I really think that he was serving big". I got the break in the 3-all.

Nadal, who hasn't won the Italian Open since 2013, will next face Fabio Fognini, who beat Peter Gojowczyk 6-4 6-4 to reach his first quarterfinal in 11 appearances at his home tournament.

Nishikori, who like Djokovic is trying to come back from injury, was in complete control against Philipp Kohlschreiber, defeating the German 6-1 6-2.

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The 16-time Grand Slam victor next takes on Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov who dug deep in a 7-6 (7/3), 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 win over Robin Haase of the Netherlands. "That was the way that I want to play". Second round: Denis Shapovalov bt Robin Haase 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 6-3; Kei Nishikori bt Grigor Dimitrov 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-4; Marin Cilic bt Ryan Harrison 6-7 (3), 6-1, 7-6 (1); Juan Martin del Potro bt Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 6-3; Alexander Zverev bt Matteo Berrettini 7-5, 6-2. Seventh-seeded South African Kevin Anderson retired from his match against Slovenian Aljaz Bedene with an injury after losing the first set 6-4.

Halep needed to reach at least the last eight and go further than world number two Caroline Wozniacki to retain the top-ranking going into the French Open.

The Romanian will next play 13th-seeded American Madison Keys, who battled past Croatian Donna Vekic 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/0) for a place in the quarter-finals.

A year ago in Rome, Halep rolled her ankle in the final and lost a lead and the championship to Elina Svitolina.

Three-time victor Maria Sharapova ousted Daria Gavrilova 6-3, 6-4 and will play fifth seed and French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko who saw off Britain's Johanna Konta 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Wozniacki faces 15th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova in a late match. He then stunned Madrid finalist Dominic Thiem, surviving a mid-match resurgence from the Austrian to advance a 6-4 1-6 6-3 victor.

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