Nadal, Del Potro Open Play Wed. In Rome, Djokovic Returns On Court 3; Shapovalov Wins Thriller
by Staff | May 15th, 2018, 9:52 pm

The top names take the court on a big day Wednesday in Rome. Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal opens play against Damir Dzhumur. Nadal comes in on a loss to Dominic Thiem last week in Madrid, but hopes to get back on track and back to No. 1 with a title this week.

Juan Martin del Potro will meet rising youngster Stefanos Tsisipas on Court 3. That match follows Novak Djokovic taking on qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili. Rare to see Djokovic on a third court at a Masters event!

Grigor Dimitrov also duels Kei Nishikori.

Earlier today in between the rain drops, the billed match of the day proved to be the match of the day as Denis Shapovalov shook off a poor opening set to battle past Tomas Berdych 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(5). The Canadian led 4-0 in the final breaker then held on for the big win.

Shapovalov is now set to overtake Milos Raonic as the Canadian No. 1 on Monday. Meanwhile, Berdych falls to 0-3 on the year on clay.

“I’m a little bit in shock,” Shapovalov said. “It’s definitely happened extremely quickly. I’ve worked hard to try to achieve this a long time in my career. It’s crazy that it’s come so early… It’s a reason to keep working, keep staying motivated and hopefully I can keep going.”

After a good start to the event, it was a tough day for Italian men who went 0-4 as Andreas Seppi, Lorenzo Sonego, Filippo Baldi and Marco Cecchinato all fell.

Philipp Kohlschreiber was also a winner ousting Jack Sock 6-4, 6-3.

As the rain returned, Marin Cilic and Ryan Harrison were deadlocked in a first set breaker.

In the women’s draw, French Open champions Jelena Ostapenko, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Maria Sharapova were all winners. Elina Svitolina also advanced.

Tomorrow, Venus Williams and Garbine Muguruza are in action and Sharapova collides with Dominika Cibulkova.

“It’s been a while since I played her, and she’s always been a very tough opponent for me to play in my career. We’ve always had very difficult matches,” Sharapova said.

“Especially on clay, she’s a grinder, she makes you hit a lot of balls. I’m certainly not afraid of that. I shouldn’t be…I should be ready and capable and make sure that I’m ready for that other ball. I’d like to see myself move forward a little bit more than I did today, not waiting for the ball to keep coming back and getting her back in the point.”

CENTRALE Starts At 12:00 Pm
2nd Rd Fabio Fognini VS 6 Dominic Thiem
2nd Rd 1 Rafael Nadal VS Damir Dzumhur
2nd Rd Ryan Harrison VS 4 Marin Cilic TBF 6/6
2nd Rd Dominika Cibulkova VS Maria Sharapova
Not Before 7:30 Pm
2nd Rd (WC) Matteo Berrettini VS 2 Alexander Zverev
Not Before 9:00 Pm
2nd Rd 3 Garbiñe Muguruza VS Daria Gavrilova

NEXT GEN ARENA Starts At 11:00 Am
2nd Rd 9 Sloane Stephens VS (Q) Kaia Kanepi
2nd Rd 3 Grigor Dimitrov VS Kei Nishikori
Not Before 2:00 Pm
2nd Rd 8 Venus Williams VS Elena Vesnina
2nd Rd Robin Haase VS Denis Shapovalov
Not Before 7:00 Pm
2nd Rd 16 Lucas Pouille VS Kyle Edmund

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Djokovic Downs Dolgopolov In Rome; Berdych v Shapovalov Tues.
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38 Comments for Nadal, Del Potro Open Play Wed. In Rome, Djokovic Returns On Court 3; Shapovalov Wins Thriller

RZ Says:

I hope this early Rome loss doesn’t affect Thiem’s ranking too much. If he drops past #9, he won’t be a top 8 seed at RG, and with his luck would end up drawn to face Rafa in the 4th round.

Humble Rafa Says:

Shreikapova knows a thing or two about the goat and being owned by one.

Daniel Says:

Nadal sending a message. We can have a Nadal x Fognini QF which is always fun. Speciallyas Foggy will be at home.

Djoko winning 2 straight matches again and not losing sets, promossing. Let’s see if he makes it a third tomorrow.

Dimi in another of his mini slumps.


Thiem is safe within Top 8 for RG. Federer won’t play so he can even drop to #9. He defends semis this week, but so does Isner who is right below him and also lost. Even if Goffin wins Romee thiem will still be top 8 seed.

Humble Rafa Says:

Somebody whose name is Dumber just got even Dumber after playing me. After that loss last week, I am angry and will spank anyone in my way so hard they will go home crying.

rognadfan Says:

Damn! HR’s ‘guilty chrush’- Thiem went down to Fognini again. Its seems as though he was anxious to prove what many of us think about his consistency. It is disappointing.

Humble Rafa Says:

Well, my search for baby Humble continues. Can’t trust these young kids anymore. They don’t work hard enough.

RZ Says:

Thanks Daniel!

The Arrogant Goat Says:

No, del Potro is not going to win the FO. Neither will Thiem or whoever. Unless Nadal dies before the finals, nobody else can win it. All other discussion like seedings, hopefuls, and whatever mindless notions you people have are just that, mindless and consequently useless.

Humble Rafa Says:

Unless Nadal dies before the finals, nobody else can win it.

I am glad that even a third grader like you can get this.

Daniel Says:

Zverev and Shapo through.

Zverev is on a hot streak 11 straight matches and 20 sets won after losing a tiebreak in Munich.

jalep Says:

Yep Domi and Dimi OUT. Not surprising about Grigor, in fact I picked Kei to beat him, lol

But it is a little surprising that Fogna beat Domi. Fabio did get his usual one clay title during the SA Swing but I think the draw was pretty weak iirc — but boom, he gets a big win at home with Flavia and all the fans cheering him on. Very happy for Fognini family!

Hope he can get past Gojo – because then we probably get a Rafa vs Fabio match in Rome.
First we get Rafa vs Shapo – Shapo might like his chances since he already got one exciting win on hc last summmer over Rafa – at home in Canada. Anyway Shapo is looking better on clay than he did back at Monte Carlo so I predict he loses in 2 but gets more games than Dzumher did 😛

gonzalowski Says:

jalep it doesn`’t seem a very risky prediction! 😉

j-kath Says:

The long and the short of it is: Will Goffin beat Del Potro????????

Van Persie Says:

Just watching Rafa- Shapo match.

The clay season is soo enjoyable….will miss it, when it will end.
No circus about the courts and schedule, day- or night matches.
Think I will take a break during grass season, as I have the feeling Wimbly will copy AO 2018. Hope I am wrong :)

Van Persie Says:


Goffin should have a good chance against DelPo on clay

Daniel Says:

Shapo vaving 8 BP and not winnign a single point in Nadal’s 3 service games.
It would be an irony if he is able to steal a tiebreak LOL
A matter of time before Nadal breaks.

Van Persie Says:


This kid is just proving, one can play a competitive match against Rafa on clay. He will not win, but he is there to play :)

Van Persie Says:

^^ hope I did not speak to early, and he gets a bagel in the 2nd :D

The Arrogant Goat Says:

HR, I may have sounded like an intellectual to you but I only got up to the second grade. I try to limit my posts to that level so that the posters here can understand. And you did understand. I’ve met my goal for today.

Daniel Says:

Nadal lost 1 point on serve so far out of 17, serving 82% firts in. Unbeatable on clay serving above 80%. He will have to drop his first percentage for Shapo to have any chance. Serving for the set now.

Van Persie Says:


I must feel very special now :)TAG, aka Markus, came just for you here today.
You got his point, he’s out ;)

Van Persie Says:

Am out too, seems like Shapo get’s the bagel

Fogna-Rafa tomorrow, this one should be interresting :D

Anto Says:

Hope we will get a good match from Fognini tomorrow against Nadal. But I won’t count on it though.

RZ Says:

VP – not quite a bagel but close!

The Arrogant Goat Says:

Shapo is one ugly kid. Glad to see him get blasted off.

j-kath Says:

VP: Goffin took it… it’s not the size that matters, whew!

Daniel Says:

Djoko finally with a great start, already 2-0. He does like Rome

j-kath Says:

Daniel: He will walk it.

Van Persie Says:

Nole loves to hear “Gioco Djokovic” ;)
He plays very well. Hope he keeps this up.

Well, some funny drop shots, but the rest was ok

Daniel Says:

6-1 set for Djoko. Not able to watch any matches today. Hope he keeps it up. Kei also a break up.

Van Persie Says:

Think was the best set , what I have seen from him this season.

Forzaaa Nole!

Daniel Says:

Up 4-2 in second winning half retunr points in the match. Comanding win. Hipe he and Nadal also wint omrorow so we get another clash between them. They are 3-3 in Rome, with Djoko winning last 2 they played here. Aslo, on Staurday I can watch the match;-)

Daniel Says:

Djoko and Kei serving for their matches at the same time.

Daniel Says:

Damm, got broken serving for the match. Seems still not quite there yet. Should have close as Kei did.

Van Persie Says:

Well, still good he managed to close it in the end :)

Daniel Says:

Yeah, he wins in the end. Finally a Masters QF this season.

Willow Says:

Looks like the old Novak is back, just wish all the commies didnt sound so desperate for Nadal to lose to somebody ….

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