Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Fognini finds sweet spot in Rome with epic lob

Fognini finds sweet spot in Rome with epic lob

Nadal got the job done in a quick one hour and 22 minutes, and it would have been even quicker if he had converted any of eight break points in his first two return games.

The Canadian Shapovalov was stretched to three sets in his opening two matches, against 15th-seeded Tomas Berdych and Robin Haase, and reached the semi-finals of last week's Madrid Open.

"It was important, after a loss in Madrid, to come back strong, and that's what I did today", said Nadal following his demolition of Dzumhur.

Rafael Nadal showed no signs of fatigue as he dismissed Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-0 to advance to the third round of the on-going Rome Open Tennis Championship.

Interestingly, while Rafa soared high, his last week's conqueror, Thiem slumped to a 4-6, 6-1, 3-6 defeat to Italian veteran Fabio Fognini. It is a testament to his quality that he has wins over Nadal and Murray, as well as Kei Nishikori, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych when they were top ten players.

Shapovalov, who upset the Spaniard in a third-set tiebreaker at last summer's Rogers Cup, went down in 6-4, 6-1 flames during third-round action in Rome.

The temperamental Fognini slammed his racket midway through the second set and received a warning from the chair umpire but otherwise held his composure to follow up an impressive win over Dominic Thiem a day earlier. On Thursday, he eased past Peter Gojowczyk to reach the quarterfinals.

Fourth-seeded Marin Cilic defeated Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-4.

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Elsewhere in the men's event, number five seed Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina exited the tournament as he had to retire hurt from his match against ninth seeded Belgian David Goffin.

Halep needed to reach the quarterfinals and progress further than No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki to hold onto the top spot, and she accomplished the first task.

Wozniacki faces 15th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova in a late match.

At 2:30 PM, Maria Sharapova, who guaranteed a spot as seed at the Roland Garros through the win over Daria Gavrilova, will face Jelena Ostapenko.

Kontaveit, 22, 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 in 1999.

On the Next Gen Arena Angelique Kerber faces the defending champion Elina Svitolina.

The Romanian, a finalist in Rome a year ago, is on her way to holding on to top spot as she next plays France's Caroline Garcia who dumped out US Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-1, 7-6 (9/7).

This is the last major warmup for the French Open, which starts in 10 days.

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