Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Nadal gets revenge on Shapovalov in Rome

Nadal gets revenge on Shapovalov in Rome

Meanwhile, clay king Nadal was relieved to be back winning as he builds towards the French Open, racing to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Bosnian Damir Dzumhur.

Shapovalov, who is ranked a career-high No. 29 this week, stunned Nadal in the third round in Montreal previous year to deny the Spaniard a chance at regaining the No. 1 ranking.

"I didn't feel completely dead out there but I felt like I could've been fresher", Shapovalov said. So, you know, it's credit to him.

If Shapovalov had to expend a good deal of energy just to keep the first set close, it may have shown to start the second.

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.

"It was a solid match for me", Nadal said. "I started with some mistakes on the return". I also had control, more or less, of a high percentage of the points. Serving at 3-5 to stay in the set, Shapovalov fell behind 0-30 when Nadal hammered a return of first serve for a victor. Shapovalov did well to deliver early holds for 1-0 and 2-1 leads, but it all went downhill after he netted a backhand on break point at 3-3. And then the match changed... "The only thing he needs is a little bit more time".

Goffin was one set up at the time. "It felt good", said the 12-time Grand Slam victor. "That was the way that I want to play". She rallied in the second drawing on her vast experience but the 37-year-old star lost the second set tiebreak by seven points to three. "It was important, after a loss in Madrid, to come back strong".

Belgian Goffin was leading 6-2 4-5 against fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro when the Argentine was forced to retire with what appeared to be a groin injury that throws his participation at the French Open into doubt.

In the women's tournament, Simona Halep boosted her bid to retain her world number one ranking as the top seed advanced to the quarter-finals after American Madison Keys withdrew injured with a painful rib.

Halep will next play either U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens or seventh-seeded Caroline Garcia.

Venus Williams crashed out in a third round defeat by Estonia's Anett Kontaveit, 6/2; 7/6 (3) at the on-going Rome Open Tennis Championship.

Fourth seed Marin Cilic displayed plenty of patience during his 6-3 6-4 win over Frenchman Benoit Paire.

Djokovic, a four-time champion on the comeback trail three months after elbow surgery, eased past Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-2. It is a testament to his quality that he has wins over Nadal and Murray, as well as Kei Nishikori, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych when they were top ten players.

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