Djokovic and Nadal sail into third round in Rome

Annette Crawford
May 16, 2018

Djokovic was up against Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili and settled down after a nervy start to wrap up a 6-4, 6-2 victory after one hour and 18 minutes.

Nadal is aiming for an eighth title in the Italian capital this week, while Djokovic will hoping for a solid performance after suffering six defeats in his 12 tour matches this year.

Nadal lost his first match on clay in over a year last week in the Madrid quarter-finals to Austrian Dominic Thiem and as a result, lost his world number one ranking to Roger Federer.

However, before they can look ahead to a blockbuster encounter, Nadal will first have to get past Dutchman Robin Haase/Canadian Denis Shapovalov, while Djokovic next faces Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who defeated American John Isner yesterday.

And Nadal was impressed with how well he played.

I also had control, more or less, of a high percentage of the points. "I did have chances", said Thiem.


Bulgarian third seed Grigor Dimitrov also suffered an early exit, going out to Japan's Kei Nishikori after a marathon 6-7 (4/7), 7-5, 6-4 battle.

World No 5 Karolina Pliskova was eliminated by Maria Sakkari in controversial circumstances, prompting the Czech to react by smashing her racket against the umpire's chair at the end of the match. She could not hide her fury as she went on to lose the match 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Earlier, top women's seed Simona Halep needed just under an hour to advance 6-1, 6-0 past Naomi Osaka to avenge her defeat to the Japanese player in Indian Wells. "That was the way that I want to play". And that's what I did today.

Halep reached the final in Rome past year and needs to reach the quarter-finals this time to retain her world number one ranking.

Fognini's victory was far less straightforward, but the 30-year-old eventually prevailed 6-4 1-6 6-3 against last year's semi-finalist.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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