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Nadal back to dominant best as Dimitrov, Thiem fall in Rome

18 May, 2018, 16:53 | Author: Drew Briggs
  • Rafael Nadal looks to seal last-eight spot at Madrid Open

Rome: Rafael Nadal powered his way into the third round of the Italian Open on Wednesday with a straight sets win over Bosnian Damir Dzumhur. Meanwhile, Djokovic moved into his first quarter-final since Wimbledon last July when he defeated Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 7-5.

The 24-year-old destroyed his racket in fury as he suffered his first loss to Italian Fabio Fognini in three meetings, sinking 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

"I just really wanted to win this match against a really classy player", said the five-time Grand Slam champion. And that's what I did today.

When Thiem netted a service return two points later to end it, the White Stripes' Seven Nation Army was blasted over the stadium sound system and the crowd began singing along in an atmosphere that more closely resembled a soccer game than a tennis match.

Get prep sports breaking news alerts from the Gwinnett Daily Post staff delivered to your email. The youngster, also a southpaw, is one of the few players to have a winning record over the great Spaniard.

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

Defending champion Elina Svitolina eased into the third round while three-time victor Maria Sharapova needed a marathon three sets to get past Australian Ashleigh Barty. The 30-year-old set up a clash with Japan's Kei Nishikori for a semi-final berth.

"After a loss in Madrid, it's important to come back strong".

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Rafa next faces the 19-year-old Denis Shapovalov, who recently became the Canadian No. 1.

"I played really a good tactic, making him run a lot from both side", said Goffin.

Halep needed to reach the quarterfinals and progress further than No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki to hold onto the top spot, and she accomplished the first task.

Williams had earlier opened her campaign by brushing aside Russia's Elena Vesnina 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 in their last-32 clash.

Jelena Ostapenko, preparing to defend her title at Roland Garros, rallied past Johanna Konta 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 and will meet three-time Rome champion Maria Sharapova or Daria Gavrilova.

Venus Williams, who won the Rome title back in 1999 and is bidding for her 50th career title this week, got her first win on clay this season.

Nadal is also attempting to win the top spot back this week.

Kontaveit, 22, won through 6-2, 7-6 (7/3) against the 37-year-old American who was seeded eighth in a tournament she won almost two decades ago in 1999.

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