Denis Shapovalov eliminates Rafael Nadal at the Rome tournament

The Canadian beat the Spaniard 1-6, 7-5 and 6-2, in 2 h 39 min.

The longer the match lengthened, the more Nadal seemed diminished; bothered by a left foot injury.

The 35-year-old limped between the points – a grim picture as Roland-Garros approached. Nadal has missed a good portion of 2021 due to this injury.

Two tennis players shake hands after a match.

Denis Shapovalov beat Rafael Nadal in the round of 16 of the Rome tournament on Thursday.

Photo: Getty Images/Alex Pantling

The Spaniard and 4th in the world returned to the ATP last week after a six-week absence, the result of a broken rib. He started 2022 well, among other things with a 21st prestigious title, in Melbourne.

Shapovalov also got the better of Nadal in 2017, in Montreal.

In their last fight, in Melbourne, at the start of 2022, Nadal had won very hard in five sets of 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6 and 6-3.

On Thursday, the Maple Leaf rep had 13 aces, the last to lead 5-2 in the third set.

Nadal started the next game with two unforced errors. He then earned a point and then Shapovalov landed a winning shot. The Spaniard added two points before committing two more unforced errors to concede the match. The last point was a shot that was too long.

Shapovalov had a slim breakage advantage, 5-4.

Seeded No. 13, Shapovalov will have Casper Ruud, the fifth seed, as his next rival.

Félix Auger-Aliassime has an appointment with Novak Djokovic

Félix Auger-Aliassime advanced to the Italian Open quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-2 win over American Marcos Giron in 1:28 in Rome on Thursday.

A player is happy, he shouts and clenches his right fist on a clay court.

Felix Auger-Aliassime in Rome

Photo: Getty Images/Denis Doyle

The eighth seed hit 11 aces and won 84% of rallies on his first serve.

He recorded 37 winners against only 3 unforced errors.

Auger-Aliassime, 9th at the ATP, will face No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals, who crushed the Swiss Stan Wawrinka 6-2 and 6-2 in 75 minutes.

This will be the first confrontation between the Serb and the Quebecer.

He clenches his right fist.

Alexander Zverev in Rome

Photo: Getty Images/Alex Pantling

For his part, Alexander Zverev reached the quarter-finals thanks to a win over Alex de Minaur.

The No. 3 in the world ranking won 6-3 and 7-6 (7/5), in 1 h 50 min, over the Australian, 22nd at ATP.

It was his 100th victory in a Masters 1000 tournament.

In the match, the German won 76% of rallies on his first serve.

I played better than in my previous game, said Zverev. I stayed very focused. Alex returns the ball very well, so losing his serve against him can happen. But I really need to be more efficient on my serve throughout the game.

I still managed some nice winners against Alex, and I’m happy to have won in two setshe added.

Zverev will find in the quarterfinals the Croatian Marin Cilic, 23rd in the world, or the Chilean Cristian Garin, 45th.

Tsitsipas adjusts and passes

Stefanos Tsitsipas, 5th in the world, took a round to settle his game before dominating the Russian Karen Khachanov (24th) 4-6, 6-0 and 6-3.

In the next round, the 23-year-old Greek will face Jannik Sinner (13th).

Finalist of the French Open in 2021, winner in Monte-Carlo (Masters 1000), Tsitsipas has been on a good run on clay since the start of spring this season.

After his title in Monaco, he reached the quarters in Barcelona (beaten by Carlos Alcaraz), then the semi-finals in Madrid (beaten by Alexander Zverev).

The Greek player can therefore once again hope to reach the semi-finals of the last major preparatory tournament for the French Open in Paris.

Another result of the day:

  • Jannik Sinner (ITA/no 10) beats Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 6-2, 7-6 (8/6)

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