Nadal eases past Shapovalov and into Rome last eight

Spain’s Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during Rome’s ATP Tennis Open tournament at the Foro Italico, on May 17, 2018 in Rome. — AFP pic
Spain’s Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during Rome’s ATP Tennis Open tournament at the Foro Italico, on May 17, 2018 in Rome. — AFP pic

ROME, May 17 — Rafael Nadal brushed aside the challenge of Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov with a 6-4, 6-1 victory to reach the Italian Open quarter-finals today.

The 31-year-old will face Italian Fabio Fognini in the last eight as he looks to retake the world number one ranking from Roger Federer by winning an eighth Rome title this week.

Nadal has already won his 11th titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona during the current clay-court season, but has lost in the quarter-finals in each of the last three years in Italy.

He was far too strong for Shapovalov, taking the opening set with a break in the seventh game before racing through the second to gain a measure of revenge for his shock defeat by the 19-year-old in Montreal last year. — AFP

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