Nadal Slams Shapovalov, Faces Fognini In Rome QF; Djokovic, Zverev Advance, Del Potro Injured
by Staff | May 17th, 2018, 8:45 pm

After a surprise summer loss last year to Denis Shapovalov, Rafael Nadal gained revenge on his surface, slamming the Canadian 6-4, 6-1 to reach the Rome Masters quarterfinals.

Nadal had lost last week in the Madrid quarters while Shapovalov made the semifinals, and had beaten the Spaniard last year in Canada. But Rafa road his forehand and lost just five points on serve en route to an easy win.

“It was a solid match for me,” said Nadal. “I started with some mistakes on the return. But with my serve, I didn’t lose many points. At the beginning, I really think that he was serving big. I got the break in the 3-all. And then the match changed… He probably stopped to serve that big a little bit, and I was a little bit more relaxed.”

Seeking an 8th Rome title, ahead will be Italian bad boy Fabio Fognini who bested Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 6-4.

Nadal leads Fognini 10-3 winning their last five, but Italian does have two clay wins over Rafa back in 2015.

“It’ll be a match against a great player, with a lot of talent,” said Nadal. “I know I have to play well, to keep having chances and keep going in the tournament. I hope to be ready to make that happen, to play at the right level and to be competitive.”

Defending champion Alexander Zverev won his 11th straight match but had to work really hard to beat Kyle Edmund needing eight match points in the second set tiebreaker to win it 7-5, 7-6(11).

“I’m just happy that I found a way in both sets, at the end of the sets, and I’m through in two sets. Being able to play another quarter-final of a Masters event is great,” Zverev said.

Zverev, who hold streak came to an end in the first set at 65, had won his last 22 sets. He’ll go up against David Goffin tomorrow in the quarterfinals. Goffin got through when Juan Martin del Potro had to retire at 6-2, 4-5 with a left leg injury he sought treatment for earlier in the match.

“I was worried about that so I decided to stop the game at the end of the second set to see the doctor and see what they say,” del Potro said. “I will do all of the exams now and then I will try to make a good decision for the future.”

Another former champion also advanced as Novak Djokovic got past Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-1, 7-5 to reach his first quarterfinal of the year.

“I’m happy. I haven’t had too many matches of this quality of my tennis in the past 12 months,” Djokovic said. “I think this was probably one of the three matches that I played this way in the past 12 months. So, it felt good. And it came at the right time in the place where I love to play, where I get a lot of support… I feel like each match is getting better. So, hopefully, it’s going to continue in this direction.”

Next for Novak will be Kei Nishikori who he just beat in the opening round at Madrid last week.

“It was strange playing Kei in the first round in Madrid. But, it was a very close match,” Djokovic said. “I expect the same tomorrow. I expect a big fight from both of us.”

Djokovic leads the Japanese star 12-2 overall.

The other quarterfinal pits Pablo Carreno Busta against Marin Cilic.

CENTRALE Starts At 12:00 Noon
QF 1 Rafael Nadal VS Fabio Fognini
Not Before 2:30 Pm
QF Maria Sharapova VS 5 Jelena Ostapenko
Not Before 4:00 Pm
QF Kei Nishikori VS 11 Novak Djokovic
Not Before 7:30 Pm
QF 1 Simona Halep VS 7 Caroline Garcia
Not Before 9:00 Pm
QF 9 David Goffin VS 2 Alexander Zverev

NEXT GEN ARENA Starts At 12:00 Noon
QF 11 Angelique Kerber VS 4 Elina Svitolina
Not Before 2:00 Pm
QF 10 Pablo Carreno Busta VS 4 Marin Cilic
Not Before 4:30 Pm
QF Anett Kontaveit VS 2 Caroline Wozniacki

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Nadal, Djokovic, Delpo Advance In Rome, Dimitrov, Thiem Ousted; Rafa Out For Revenge Thurs.
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Del Potro Advanced, Dimitrov Dumped In Beijing; Shapovalov Upsets Wawrinka In Tokyo

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24 Comments for Nadal Slams Shapovalov, Faces Fognini In Rome QF; Djokovic, Zverev Advance, Del Potro Injured

AndyMira Says:

Oh boy!….A very interesting match today!…Fog vs Rafa & Novak & Kei…Fog is always a dangerous player…And he’s in hot form at his home turf this week,but i still think Rafa will win in 2 insyaallah…

And i think Novak will get his revenge for the loss at Madrid last week…Novak in 3..

And Goffin vs Sascha also going to be an interesting match…I will not surprised if Goffin came out the winner today….Love his game!

gonzalowski Says:

Very nice match, equaled and fun, with the crowd wishing Fognini win. 4-4 now

Humble Rafa Says:

Sometimes, pizzas taste better if you let them sit for the first few minutes. Then you can devour them and they don’t know what hit them.

RZ Says:

For those interested in an ATP racquet bracket for the FO, I will try to set it up by next Friday. I’m traveling next week so I’ll do my best to give everyone enough time to participate, especially as the FO has a Sunday start (I think).

Daniel Says:

Seems Kei is up for revenge from last week, serving 5-2 first set.

gonzalowski Says:

Nole coming back, and his many fans wake up

Humble Rafa Says:

Beating hobbled and recovering Asia Man 1 is not an accomplishment…in any continent.

Daniel Says:

Topsy Turvy match, checked scores and Djoko was 2-1 in third set. Now he is 2-3 serving. Don’t know who will win.

Daniel Says:

Djoko breaks, serving 4-3, 2 games away from Djokal #51 after 1 year.

The Arrogant Goat Says:

Djoko is getting better. Guess who’s starting to worry.

The Arrogant Goat Says:

Nobody loves Nishikori. LOL. Racist crowd.

Daniel Says:

Djoko wins. One of his greater mresults htis year coming back from a set down, for him who was not winnign any Three setter a few weeks ago. Now 4 straight matches.

Tomorrow, ultimate test for him and gauge his game. Maybe playing Nadal on clay is just what the doctor orders for him to remember who he is.

Van Persie Says:


Nole won a 3 setter. And was a beautiful one.:)
Good match

Humble Rafa Says:

Maybe playing Nadal on clay is just what the doctor orders for him to remember who he is.

Who is he? A hobbled former star who doesn’t belong on the tour anymore?

Chris Ford Says:

Rafa vs. Novak!! Even at his best, and that is as the 2nd best clay courter in this era, Djokovic is not as good as Rafa playing his B+ game. Still, this can be a fine test for the two guys to see where they stand for the French Open, and Djokovic has a slim chance.

The Arrogant Goat Says:

Nole won! He looked like a Goat, literally.

Humble Rafa Says:

Djokovic has a slim chance.

Slim people, slim chances.

Chris Ford Says:

Daniel – There is also Rafole, Djokonads, Rafovic, Novadal.
Best, longest rivalry of this era, though Fed-Djokovic is maybe the closest on all surfaces, indoors/outdoors, and the highest quality. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. I like gladiator matches, (Timmy), where it never came down to exquisite aesthetic of a one-hander backhand on tiptoes with hair just so, or beauty vs. power…just two evenly matched guys who happen to be world class athletes with no quit in them, in the sweat and pain and exhaustion of the arena.

Fedal was going great until Rafa ruined it, or Fed ruined it by his arrogance refusing to adjust,change his style of play. Even as Rafa took on the role of Canadian fisherman with club vs. Fed the baby seal pup. The changed Fed of the last two years gives us an insight on how it could have been if Federer had taken 2008’s results as evidence he had to do a major retool, vs. his horrendous 2013 season.

The Arrogant Goat Says:

Slim chance for the slim man. If Djokovic can play as well as he did against Nadal in the past, he can beat him. But that’s a big butt and Nadal still has the bigger butt. Advantage, Nadal.

The Arrogant Goat Says:

I just read another la-la-la fairy tale from Chris Ford and I feel like going to sleep already. Goodnight!

rognadfan Says:

Looki Looki, who shows up!
Slim or Fat, it’s going to be great. It’s match ups that sometime give trouble to the players not necessary who is at his/her best.
So Nole Rafa is always going to be a great one. Likely Rafa wins but still will be a good match.IMO. If nothing Nole’s return and BH will make it interesting for Rafa.

BTW Chris Ford, I like your post at 3:23pm; I mostly agree with your post. And you know what, that’s one of the least biased (and not target at Fed in some way) post from you in the last xxx posts. Though, I would say it wasn’t arrogance of Fed (I understand your choice of the word though) not to change his racket; it was the notion that changing to, say larger, frame would do more harm (e.g., less control) that good to his game. Safe to say he was thoroughly wrong on that.
Better late than never though, right?

Humble Rafa Says:

Dear Henry Ford,

When you write a story, it must have a beginning, middle and an ending. Most importantly, it must flow properly and make sense.

Beginning comes at the start, middle in between the start and the end, end is the final part.

After you write it, read it two times. It may make sense to you but others may think you used a word scrambler with words arranged in a way that seem to make sense to you.

Rick Says:

Nole is back, when Rooferer returns, he would feels sorry for being lazy and staying indoor for a few months. Definitely Rooferer not gonna returns with the same confidence that he had last year. He was beaten twice before he goes to the nursing home. And unlike last year, when he returned most players were injured.

Amit Says:

Rick the rooferer:
Everybody was injured last year except the greatest rival of Fed: Nadal! And still Fed beat him in all their matches last year! That’s what matters! The consolation for you is Rafa is still Rafa and he’ll be back beating Fed again!

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