Nadal and Djoko power on as Thiem crashes out in Rome

Elias Hubbard
May 17, 2018

Nadal routed 31st-ranked Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-0, while Djokovic beat Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-2.

The 24-year-old destroyed his racket in fury as he suffered his first loss to Italian Fabio Fognini in three meetings, sinking 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

Sixth-seed Thiem - who inflicted the first clay-court defeat in nearly a year on Nadal last week in the Spanish capital - took out his frustration on his racket as Fognini sealed his first win in three meetings with the Austrian. "I ruined a few flowers but I think the federation can afford to buy some new ones".

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.

"For some reason, I couldn't get a ball in the court after that, on my backhand side", Osaka said.

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.

"I beat a top clay-courter", Fognini added.

Nadal will retake the World No 1 spot he lost to Roger Federer last week if he clinches the trophy.

Wozniacki eliminated Belgian qualifier Alison van Uytvanck 6-1, 6-4, and three-time Rome champion Maria Sharapova came back to beat Dominika Cibulkova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

The 31-year-old, who claimed the 11th titles of his career at both Monte Carlo and Barcelona, took the first set in 34 minutes, coasting to victory in just an hour.

The 16-time Grand Slam victor next takes on Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov who dug deep in a 7-6 (7/3), 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 win over Robin Haase of the Netherlands.

Also through to the third round on Wednesday was Japan's Kei Nishikori, who faced a tough challenge in Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov but fought back superbly to send the third seed packing.

Pliskova racket rage Former world number one Karolina Pliskova was so angry she put a hole in the umpire's chair with her racket instead of shaking hands after losing to Greece's Maria Sakkari. And I knew she knew I couldn't hit a backhand, so we were just having backhand rallies.

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

A clearly angry Pliskova then lost the following point and subsequently the game before her Greek opponent served out the match to take her place in the third round.

Nishikori dropped the first set but mounted an impressive comeback to secure a hard-fought 6-7, (4-7), 7-5, 6-4 victory.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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