Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic reach quarter-finals of Italian Open

In Tennis, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic reached quarter-finals of the Italian Open in Rome yesterday. While Nadal struggled to win 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 in a three-and-a-half hour epic against 13th seed Denis Shapovalov, Djokovic cruised past Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2, 6-1. This is Nadal’s 16th quarter-final appearance in the tournament.

Serb world No. 1 Djokovic, on the other hand, entered quarter-finals for the 15th time in his 15th appearance in the tournament. Also entering the quarter-finals is Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas who beat Italian No.1 Matteo Berrettini 7-6, 6-2. The fifth seed won seven of his eight net points and capitalised on Berrettini’s low first-serve percentage in second set to win in one hour and 36 minutes. Federico Delbonis defeated Felix Auger Aliassime 6-1, 7-6 while American Reilly Opelka beat Aslan Karatsev of Russia 7-6, 6-4.

In Women’s Singles, world No.1 Ashleigh Barty beat Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals. She will now face Coco Gauff, who beat last week’s Madrid Open champion Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 6-3. Ashleigh’s 27th win of the season took her one-hour and 21 minutes as she entered the last eight in Rome for the first time in her career. In other pre-quarterfinals, Jelena Ostapenko beat Angelique Kerber 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 while Karolina Pliskova defeated Vera Zvonareva 7-5, 6-3.

In another match, Iga Swiatek saved two match points to overhaul Barbora Krejcikova 3-6, 7-6, 7-5 in two hours and 50 minutes and reach her second quarterfinal of the season.

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