Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Rafael Nadal reacts to getting back to winning ways in Rome

Rafael Nadal reacts to getting back to winning ways in Rome

The Nadal/Shapovalov match took off as expected with the Canadian winning his service game and Nadal holding to level one game apiece. At the beginning, I really think that he was serving big.

Rafael Nadal's quest to regain the world No. 1 ranking began with a flourish on Wednesday when he dominated Bosnian Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-0 in just 61 minutes at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. In the middle of the sixth game the Chair Umpire over-ruled a call after inspecting the point where the ball landed.

Shapovalov, on the other hand, produced a spirited performance as he bounced back from a set down to clinch a 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 6-3 win over Dutch veteran Robin Haase and stormed into the round-of-16.

Nishikori, who like Djokovic is trying to come back from injury, was in complete control against Philipp Kohlschreiber, defeating the German 6-1 6-2. 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.

Djokovic, a four-time champion on the comeback trail three months after elbow surgery, eased past Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-2.

The Romanian will next play 13th-seeded American Madison Keys, who battled past Croatian Donna Vekic 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/0) for a place in the quarter-finals.

Defending champion Elina Svitolina of Ukraine fought back from a first set wipeout against Daria Kasatkina to win 0-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Third seed Grigor Dimitrov did not have a birthday to remember as he fell 7-6 (4), 5-7, 4-6 to Kei Nishikori.

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.

Number one seed Simona Halep of Romania made it through to the quarter-finals before a ball was struck as her opponent, Madison Keys of the U.S., had to retire hurt before she took to the court.

"It was a positive match, of course", said Nadal, who is chasing an eighth title at Rome.

Zverev will next play ninth-seeded David Goffin, who was leading 6-2, 4-5 when Juan Martin del Potro retired because of a groin injury.

Venus Williams crashed out in a third round defeat by Estonia's Anett Kontaveit, 6/2; 7/6 (3) at the on-going Rome Open Tennis Championship.

In the process, the 16-time Grand Slam champion created yet another record when he notched up his 100th bagel on the ATP Tour - the most among active players. "I ruined a few flowers but I think the federation can afford to buy some new ones".

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