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Ruthless Nadal advances, Thiem stung by Fognini


Spain’s Rafael Nadal serves to Slovakia’s Martin Klizan during their Barcelona Open ATP tournament quarter-final tennis match in Barcelona on April 27, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Josep LAGO

Rafael Nadal showed no signs of fatigue as he dismissed Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-0 to advance to the third round of the on-going Rome Open Tennis Championship. However, Madrid finalist, Dominic Thiem was sent packing by Italy’s Fabio Fognini in three sets 6/4, 1/6, 6/3.

Nadal won the first game of the match when he broke Dzumhur’s serve and held to consolidate. Another break and hold placed Nadal in unassailable 4-0 lead.In the fifth game, Nadal led 40-15, but Dzumhur saved two game points to reach deuce. Nadal required two more opportunities before clinching the game. In the middle of the sixth game the Chair Umpire over-ruled a call after inspecting the point where the ball landed. The respite gave Dzumhur the advantage and he held to the applause of the crowd. However, Nadal served out the set.

The second set was a one-way affair. The 25-year-old Dzumhur from Sarajevo, in Bosnia Herzegovina reached game point in the frist game, but Nadal forced a deuce and took it.From that stage, Nadal ran out the games in quick succession and won 6/0. The major upset of the day was Fabio Fognini’s defeat of Dominic Thiem. One break in the first set gave the Italian veteran the set. The Austrian world number five fought back and took the second set 6/1.

In the decider, a single break of serve in the seventh game gave Fognini the opportunity and he held to his two serves to win 6/3.Kei Nishikori denied Grigor Dimitrov a 27th birthday win to reach the Internazionali BNL d’Italia third round on Wednesday, defeating the World No. 4 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-4.

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. Dimitrov has now lost four consecutive matches in Rome, dating back to his first-round win over Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz in 2015.The Japanese star, a Rome semi-finalist in 2016 (l. to Djokovic) will meet Philipp Kohlschreiber for a place in the quarterfinals. The German defeated Jack Sock in straight sets on Tuesday.

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Rafael Nadal
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