Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Nadal and Djokovic remain on course for Italian Open semi-final showdown

Rafael Nadal looks to seal last-eight spot at Madrid Open Thiem gearing up for Nadal rematch
Rita Gibson | 17 May, 2018, 14:00

"And that's what I did today". I also had control, more or less, of a high percentage of the points. He grazed the flower beds lining the court to return Thiem's heavily angled shots and frustrated the Austrian with well-placed lobs and touch volleys. "But I think this is the first match of the year that I've felt like this", insisted Osaka, who struggled with her backhand.

"I beat a top clay-courter", Fognini added. "I ruined a few flowers but I think the federation can afford to buy some new ones".

Men: Rafael Nadal bt Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-0; Novak Djokovic bt Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-2; Fabio Fognini bt Dominic Thiem 6-4, 1-6, 6-3; Albert Ramos bt John Isner 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5). Djokovic, a four-time victor at Rome, had five aces in the match and will next face Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who rallied past eighth-seeded American John Isner 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5) in two hours, 53 minutes.

Fognini went onto see out the match to advance to the last 16, whilst Thiem will prepare for the Lyon Open in France next week, in preparation for a tilt at the prestigious French Open in Paris at the end of the month.

Nishikori, who entered Rome on a three-match losing streak, came from a set and a break down to defeat Dimitrov for the fourth time in five FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings.

Rafael Nadal looks to seal last-eight spot at Madrid Open

"It's a loss which is not too painful, which is just motivating me for the next weeks", the Austrian said.

In the women's event, world No 1 Simona Halep was in ruthless form against Japan's Naomi Osaka, the Romanian needing just 59 minutes to win 6-1, 6-0 to reach the third round.

"I just really wanted to win this match against a really classy player", said the five-time Grand Slam champion. "She knew it and we were having a lot of backhand rallies, other than that I couldn't say what happened". "And she was playing very solid".

Nadal will next face Canada's Denis Shapovalov, who faced a grueling test in battling past Dutchman Robin Haase 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 6-3 in almost two and a half hours. The chair umpire acknowledged that she "lost" the ball mark and therefore said the point should be awarded to Sakkari. Osaka, 20, failed to convert any of her six break point opportunities, hitting 29 unforced errors to Halep's 14.

Also, U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens held off a comeback from Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi in a 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 victory; seventh-seeded Caroline Garcia defeated Timea Babos 6-3, 6-4; and 14th-seeded Daria Kasatkina eliminated American qualifier Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-3.

City invites the community to "Ride of Silence" event
For motorists, give bikers three feet of space, pass safely and don't ride too close. Bike riders travel slower than cars but they have every right to the road.

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