Italian Open: Nadal, Djokovic power on as Thiem crashes out

Nadal cruises into Italian Open third round Thiem exits

Nadal cruises into Italian Open third round Thiem exits

Rome: Rafael Nadal brushed aside Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov with a 6-4, 6-1 victory at the Italian Open as Novak Djokovic showed he is on the comeback trail by reaching his first quarter-final of 2018.

The Serb will next play Spaniard Albert Ramos Vinolas who squeezed past American eighth seed John Isner 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/5).

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

"It was a positive match, of course", said Nadal, as quoted by the Express.

"I think Rafa played incredible today", said Shapovalov. "I ruined a few flowers but I think the federation can afford to buy some new ones". That's the entire list of active players who hold a winning record against Rafael Nadal. "I started with some mistakes on the return but with my serve, I didn't lose many points".

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. "I know I have to play well, to keep having chances and keep going in the tournament". The 30-year-old set up a clash with Japan's Kei Nishikori for a semi-final berth.

Fourth-seeded Marin Cilic defeated Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-4 and will meet Pablo Carreno Busta, who beat Aljaz Bedene 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-2.

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Wozniacki can reclaim the world number one ranking from Halep, last year's losing finalist, if the Romanian fails to reach the quarter-finals.

But the 37-year-old had to save a match point before seeing off Russian Elena Vesnina 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 and will next face Anett Kontaveit.

Halep now needs to progress further than No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki to stay in top spot.

Nadal is also attempting to regain the top spot this week.

Three-time victor Maria Sharapova ousted Daria Gavrilova 6-3, 6-4 and will play fifth seed and French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko who saw off Britain's Johanna Konta 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

By contrast, Sharapova needed two and a half hours to master 18th-ranked Barty 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 in their first round match.

The results: Second round: Women: Simona Halep bt Naomi Osaka 6-1, 6-0; Caroline Garcia bt Timea Babos 6-3, 6-4; Sloane Stephens bt Kaia Kanepi 6-0, 5-7, 6-4; Darya Kasatkina bt Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-3; Madison Keys bt Donna Vekic 7-6 (2), 7-6 (0); Sloane Stephens bt Kaia Kanepi 6-0, 5-7, 6-4; Johanna Konta bt Hsieh Su-Wei 6-0, 6-4; Maria Sakkari bt Karolina Pliskova 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

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