Nadal ruthless in Rome, reaches last eight

Elena Summers
May 18, 2018

Nadal finally got the break and Shapovalov did not get a point against serve until game eight - he only had two when the world number two closed out the first set by forcing the Canadian deep and wide before rushing to the net to close the angles.

World No 29 Shapovalov fell apart in the second set, losing his serve three times and only managing to win one game as Nadal turned up the heat.

"We're finally connecting and I think that's the most handsome thing", Fognini said of the crowd, which whistled him off the court following an erratic performance a few years ago.

Rafael Nadal's quest to regain the world No. 1 ranking began with a flourish on Wednesday when he dominated Bosnian Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-0 in just 61 minutes at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.

Shapovalov, who upset the Spaniard in a third-set tiebreaker at last summer's Rogers Cup, went down in 6-4, 6-1 flames during third-round action in Rome.

"I didn't feel completely dead out there but I felt like I could've been fresher", Shapovalov said. Dimitrov has now lost four consecutive matches in Rome, dating back to his first-round win over Poland's Jerzy Janowicz in 2015.The Japanese star, a Rome semi-finalist in 2016 ( Djokovic) will meet Philipp Kohlschreiber for a place in the quarterfinals.

Fognini slammed his racket midway through the second set and received a warning from the umpire but otherwise held his composure to follow up an impressive win over Dominic Thiem. On Thursday, he eased past Peter Gojowczyk to reach the quarterfinals.

Alexander Zverev kept his title defence on track but needed eight match points to get past Briton Kyle Edmund and reach the quarter-finals.

The 21-year-old will play Belgian David Goffin who advanced when Argentine fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro retired while trailing 6-2, 4-5 with a groin injury.

To stay in top spot, Halep needs to progress further than No 2 Caroline Wozniacki, who was facing 15th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova in a late match.

Djokovic, a four-time victor, is on the comeback trail three months after elbow surgery and eased past Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-2.

Fourth seed Marin Cilic displayed plenty of patience during his 6-3 6-4 win over Frenchman Benoit Paire.

Kontaveit ousted 1999 Rome champion Venus Williams 6-2, 7-6 (3).

He has French Open 10 out of 12 times in his career and surely he is the favourite this year as well.

On the Next Gen Arena Angelique Kerber faces the defending champion Elina Svitolina.

Halep plays US Open champion Sloane Stephens or seventh-seeded Caroline Garcia.

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