Fognini finds sweet spot in Rome with epic lob

Fognini finds sweet spot in Rome with epic lob

Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal has methodically worn down Denis Shapovalov in a 6-4 6-1 win to reach the Italian Open quarter-finals and gain a measure of revenge against the Canadian.

"It's not easy to come from Madrid where there's a lot of altitude and it's very fast", said Zverev.

Sixth seed Thiem crashed out just a week after inflicting a first clay-court defeat on Rafael Nadal in over a year in Madrid.

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.

Nadal is also attempting to win the top spot back this week. Another break and hold placed Nadal in unassailable 4-0 lead.In the fifth game, Nadal led 40-15, but Dzumhur saved two game points to reach deuce. He broke Dzumhur five times and did not face a single break point himself.

The victor will play Anett Kontaveit, who ousted 1999 champion Venus Williams 6-2, 7-6 (3).

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

"He was really serving big and I had some mistakes with the return", Nadal said.

The top seed, who will reclaim the world number one ranking from Roger Federer if he wins his eighth title in Rome, turned in a near-flawless performance, losing only five service points as he honed in on victory in an hour and 22 minutes.

Nadal will face Denis Shapovalov in the last 16 after the Canadian got the better of Robin Haase.

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

The 22-year-old Kontaveit 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 to 1999.

In women's action, Simona Halep routed Naomi Osaka 6-1, 6-0 for the first of two wins she needs this week to keep Caroline Wozniacki from taking her No. 1 ranking.

The world No 2 was expected to brush the 19-year-old aside easily and immediately piled on the pressure, forcing three break point opportunities in the first game of the match.

Halep next plays 13th-seeded American Madison Keys, who battled past Croatian Donna Vekic 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/0), for a place in the last eight.

But despite having to scratch and sweat his way into holds, Shapovalov was even with Nadal at 3-3 in the first set, until a double-fault from Shapovalov handed Nadal his ninth break point of the set.

"It was a solid match for me", said Nadal.

Defending champion Alexander Zverev beat Italian wild-card entry Matteo Berrettini 7-5, 6-2.

Although six seeded players suffered exits on Wednesday (May 16), Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic were able to advance.

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