Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Italian Open: Nadal, Djokovic power on as Thiem crashes out

Rafael Nadal right found a strong opponent in Denis Shapovalov whom he beat on Thursday. Dean Mouhtaropoulos  Getty Images Rafael Nadal right found a strong opponent in Denis Shapovalov whom he beat on Thursday. Dean Mouhtaropoulos Getty Images
Frederick Owens | 17 May, 2018, 18:18

Shapovalov, who will face Nadal on Thursday, finished with seven aces and converted three of 11 break-point opportunities in a match that lasted two hours 26 minutes.

"I went on court with the right intensity".

The second seed eased past Berrettini 7-5, 6-2 to join former winners Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the third round at the Foro Italico as Austrian Dominic Thiem fell at the first hurdle.

"I beat a top clay-courter", Fognini added.

"Isner is in great shape, but Ramos is always a tricky guy to play against on slow clay", said Djokovic, who is 5-0 against Ramos-Vinolas in tour matches without dropping a set.

"But I think in Rome it's a little bit different". Djokovic, a four-time victor at Rome, had five aces in the match and will next face Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who rallied past eighth-seeded American John Isner 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5) in two hours, 53 minutes. Novak Djokovic, a four-time victor in Rome, powered into the third round with a convincing 6-4 6-2 win over Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.

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Thiem was already looking ahead to the French Open, which starts on May 27.

The 31-year-old was at his imperious best as he showed no nerves and swept to a 5-0 lead in the first set.

"For some reason, I couldn't get a ball in the court after that, on my backhand side", Osaka said. And I knew she knew I couldn't hit a backhand, so we were just having backhand rallies.

Nadal will be keen to settle scores with him after suffering a narrow three-set defeat to Shapovalov at the latter's home at the Montreal Masters a year ago.

Wozniacki eliminated Belgian qualifier Alison van Uytvanck 6-1, 6-4, three-time Rome champion Maria Sharapova came back to beat Dominika Cibulkova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, and 1999 Rome champion Venus Williams advanced with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 win over Elena Vesnina.

The results: Second round: Women: Simona Halep bt Naomi Osaka 6-1, 6-0; Caroline Garcia bt Timea Babos 6-3, 6-4; Sloane Stephens bt Kaia Kanepi 6-0, 5-7, 6-4; Darya Kasatkina bt Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-3; Madison Keys bt Donna Vekic 7-6 (2), 7-6 (0); Sloane Stephens bt Kaia Kanepi 6-0, 5-7, 6-4; Johanna Konta bt Hsieh Su-Wei 6-0, 6-4; Maria Sakkari bt Karolina Pliskova 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

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