ATP Tour

Nadal eases past Shapovalov in Rome

2018-05-17 17:47
Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal (Getty Images)

Rome - Rafael Nadal brushed aside the challenge of Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov with a 6-4, 6-1 victory to reach the Italian Open quarter-finals on Thursday.

The 31-year-old will face Italian Fabio Fognini in the last eight as he looks to retake the world number one ranking from Roger Federer by winning an eighth Rome title this week.

Nadal has already won his 11th titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona during the current clay-court season, but has lost in the quarter-finals in each of the last three years in Italy.

He was far too strong for Shapovalov, taking the opening set with a break in the seventh game before racing through the second to gain a measure of revenge for his shock defeat by the 19-year-old in Montreal last year.

"I think Rafa played incredible today," said Shapovalov. "He's been playing at a really high level for this whole clay season. So, you know, it's credit to him. He was just simply too good today."

Top seed Nadal recorded his 20th clay-court win of the year while Shapovalov will at least have the consolation of becoming the Canadian number one on Monday.

"It was a solid match for me," said Nadal. "I started with some mistakes on the return. But with my serve, I didn't lose many points.

"At the beginning, I really think that he was serving big. I got the break in the 3-all. And then the match changed. He probably stopped to serve that big a little bit, and I was a little bit more relaxed."

The Spaniard will next take on Fognini, a player he knows well having played 14 times and holds a 10-3 record against including five wins in their most recent matches.

Fognini eased past Germany's Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 6-4.

Defending champion Alexander Zverev of Germany kept his title defence on track but needed eight match points to see off Briton Kyle Edmund 7-5, 7-6 (13/11).

For Zverev it was an 11th consecutive win after back-to-back title runs at Munich and Madrid.

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

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

"And then I don't know what happened. All of a sudden in the second, he felt something.

"Always he looks like tired, but he's not. And he's really dangerous in that case. I was surprised when he stopped at 5-4."

Results from the ATP and WTA Masters tournament in Rome on Thursday (x denotes seeded player):

Women

3rd round

Simona Halep (ROU x1) bt Madison Keys (USA x13) -- walkover

Maria Sharapova (RUS) bt Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 6-3, 6-4

Jelena Ostapenko (LAT x5) bt Johanna Konta (GBR) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4

Angelique Kerber (GER x11) bt Maria Sakkari (GRE) 6-1, 6-1

Elina Svitolina (UKR x4) bt Daria Kasatkina (RUS x14) 0-6, 6-3, 6-2

Anett Kontaveit (EST) bt Venus Williams (USA x8) 6-2, 7-6 (7/3)

Men

3rd round

Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Denis Shapovalov (CAN) 6-4, 6-1

Fabio Fognini (ITA) bt Peter Gojowczyk (GER) 6-4, 6-4

Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP x10) bt Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2

Marin Cilic (CRO x4) bt Benoit Paire (FRA) 6-3, 6-4

David Goffin (BEL x9) bt Juan Martin del Potro (ARG x5) 6-2, 4-5 -- retired

Alexander Zverev (GER x2) bt Kyle Edmund (GBR) 7-5, 7-6 (13/11)

Read more on:    atp tour  |  italian open  |  rafael nadal  |  tennis
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