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Nadal powers into 3rd round in Rome


Nadal powers into 3rd round in Rome

Rafael Nadal got his claycourt season back on track with a 6-1 6-0 victory over Bosnian Damir Dzumhur to reach the third round of the Italian Open on Wednesday (May 16), while sixth-seed Dominic Thiem suffered an early exit. Nadal, who lost his number world one ranking after his 14-match winning run on clay was snapped by Thiem in the Madrid Open quarter-finals last week, was back to his best as he wrapped up victory with a blistering forehand winner.

The Spaniard can reclaim the world number one ranking from Roger Federer if he wins a record-extending eighth title in Rome this week.

Thiem, who finished runner-up in Madrid on Sunday, struggled to find his rhythm in a 6-4 1-6 6-3 defeat by Fabio Fognini.

World number 21 Fognini, backed by a partisan Italian crowd, frustrated Thiem with well-placed lobs and touch volleys and went on to record his first win over the Austrian in three meetings.

Novak Djokovic, a four-time winner in Rome, powered into the third round with a convincing 6-4 6-2 win over Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.

The Serb will have opportunity to reach his first quarter-final of the season on Thursday, when he faces Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Defending champion Alexander Zverev stayed focused on his way to a 7-5 6-2 win over Italian wildcard Matteo Berrettini.

The 21-year-old German recorded his 10th consecutive victory on clay, a streak which includes back-to-back title runs in Munich and Madrid.

He will now take on British number one Kyle Edmund, who saved the only break point he faced in a 6-2 7-6(3) victory over France's Lucas Pouille.

Japan's Kei Nishikori denied Grigor Dimitrov a 27th birthday win to progress to the third round, rallying back from a set down to beat the world number four 6-7(4) 7-5 6-4.

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

Women

2nd rd

Simona Halep (ROM x1) bt Naomi Osaka (JPN) 6-1, 6-0

Madison Keys (USA x13) bt Donna Vekic (CRO) 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/0)

Sloane Stephens (USA x9) bt Kaia Kanepi (EST) 6-0, 5-7, 6-4

Caroline Garcia (FRA x7) bt Timea Babos (HUN) 6-3, 6-4

Johanna Konta (GBR) bt Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) 6-0, 6-4

Maria Sakkari (GRE) bt Karolna Pliskova (CZE x6) 3-6, 6-3, 7-5

Darya Kasatkina (RUS x14) bt Danielle Collins (USA) 6-2, 6-3

Anett Kontaveit (EST) bt Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 7-5, 7-5

Men

2nd rd

Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 6-1, 6-0

Novak Djokovic (SRB x11) bt Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 6-4, 6-2

Fabio Fognini (ITA) bt Dominic Thiem (AUT x6) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3

Albert Ramos (ESP) bt John Isner (USA x8) 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/5)

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