Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic Power On As Dominic Thiem Crashes Out In Rome

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“After a loss in Madrid, it’s important to come back strong. And that’s what I did today,” stated Nadal, who acquired a first-round bye.

The 31-year-old, who claimed the 11th titles of his profession at each Monte Carlo and Barcelona, took the primary set in 34 minutes, coasting to victory in simply an hour.

The 16-time Grand Slam winner subsequent takes on both Canadian Denis Shapovalov, 19, or Robin Haase of the Netherlands.

“Today was a positive day. I don’t know how many mistakes I did, but not much,” stated Nadal.

Djokovic, a four-time winner, is on the comeback path three months after elbow surgical procedure and eased previous Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-Four, 6-2.

The Serbia will subsequent play Spaniard Albert Ramos Vinolas who wanted three units to get previous American eighth seed John Isner 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/5).

Fognini, ranked 21, subsequent performs Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk earlier than a attainable quarter-final showdown with high seed Nadal.

“If you compare it to Madrid there were a lot of close matches I could have lost there too. I did have chances,” stated Thiem.

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

– Pliskova racket rage –

Former world primary Karolina Pliskova was so offended she put a gap within the umpire’s chair together with her racket as an alternative of shaking palms after dropping to Greece’s Maria Sakkari.

Pliskova, the sixth seed, argued lengthily after an overhead shot was incorrectly dominated out and each the road choose and the umpire stated they might not discover the mark.

The controversial shot got here within the third set with the Czech serving at 5-5 (30/30). She couldn’t conceal her fury as she went on to lose the match Three-6, 6-Three, 7-5.

Instead of shaking palms with the umpire after the match, Pliskova first put her hand out earlier than beating up the chair.

Earlier, high ladies’s seed Simona Halep wanted just below an hour to advance 6-1, 6-Zero previous Naomi Osaka to avenge her defeat to the Japanese participant in Indian Wells.

“It was one of those helpless feelings,” conceded 20-year-old Osaka who may very well be heard saying “I want to cry” courtside. 

Halep wanted to avoid wasting 4 break factors in her opening service sport for 1-1 however then reeled off 12 in a row.

“I like to slide on the clay and today was easy for me. I’m more relaxed than in Madrid,” stated 26-year-old Halep.

Halep reached the ultimate in Rome final yr and wishes to succeed in the quarter-finals this time to retain her world primary rating.

She subsequent performs 13th-seeded American Madison Keys, who battled previous Croatian Donna Vekic 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/Zero), for a spot within the final eight.

France’s Caroline Garcia, a semi-finalist in Madrid final week, eased previous Hungary’s Timea Babos 6-Three, 6-Four, and can subsequent face US Open champion, Sloane Stephens.

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