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Battered Rafael Nadal falls at the Italian Open

defending champion Rafael Nadal crashed down of Italian open in the third round on Thursday with the 10-time record winner from Rome, who complained of a recurring foot problem after a shock 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 Loss to Canadians Denis Shapovalov.

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The defeat in Rome for ‘King of Clay’ Nadal raises doubts about his prospects for the upcoming game French Openwhere he’s been crowned champion 13 times but is threatened by a teenage phenomenon Carlo Alcaraz.

The 35-year-old, who has reached at least the quarter-finals every year in Rome since 2008, was out for six weeks with a rib injury before returning to Madrid for the tournament last week.

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Nadal started limping in the third set and later told reporters that a foot problem arose in the second set but he couldn’t say if he could compete at Roland Garros.

“Living with injuries” – Rafael Nadal

“I’m not injured, I’m a player living with an injury. That’s it,” Nadal told reporters.

“It’s something that’s unfortunately there, and my day-to-day life is difficult. I’m trying very hard, but of course it’s difficult for me. I can’t practice many days.

“I don’t want to take anything away from Denis… today he’s doing him so much good.”

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Rafael Nadal has won a record 21 Grand Slam titles in a glittering two-decade career that may now finally be hitting its downturn.

World No. 16 Shapovalov, who pushed Nadal to the limit at this stage of the tournament last year, will now be confronted Kasper Ruud in the quarterfinals.

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“It definitely sucked to see him in pain at the end… He brings so much to our sport so hopefully he’s fit and ready to go for the French.” said Shapovalov.

“Beating the best player of all time on clay is super satisfying.”

Last year runner-up in Rome Novak Djokovic swept past the Swiss veteran Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 16 minutes to reach the quarterfinals while vying for a sixth Italian Open title.

Djokovic is in his record-bending 369th week as world number one and needs to reach at least the semifinals to keep his top spot Daniel Medvedev.

Wawrinka, whose first-round win over Reilly Opelka was his first win in 15 months, was no match for top seed Djokovic and offered little resistance beyond a few classic pass shots.

“It’s great to see Stan again…You can see he’s still not physically where he wants to be, but he’s Stan Wawrinka nonetheless. He can hurt you if you take your time.” said Djokovic after the match.

world number three Alexander Zverev saw off Alex de Minaur 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) in the early game on Center Court to start a duel with the last eight Christian Garinwho hit Marin Cilic 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

Monte Carlo Masters winner Stefanos Tsitsipas was forced to work harder for him 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 Victory over former Paris Masters winner Karen Khachanov who furnishes him with home hope Jannik Sinner.

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World number one for women Iga Swiatek maintained her 25th straight win and defeated Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-1 despite a rocky start.

Swiatek, 20, is the favorite for the French Open, which starts later this month, and showed why in an impressive performance against Azarenka, herself a former top player and two-time Australian Open winner.

However, she had to come back after losing the first three games of the match and then struggled through a string of long games before finally breaking Azarenka’s resolve early in the deciding second set.

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“I’m glad I was able to win somehow ugly in the first set and improve in the second.” Swiatek told reporters.

“It gives me the confidence that I can win games even if my game isn’t 100% good. So it works both ways.”

Swiatek is expected to beat her quarterfinal opponent Bianca Andreescu after the world ranking 90s had prevailed against it Petra Martic 6-4, 6-4.

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Results of Thursday’s ATP/WTA Italian Open (x stands for seeding, players representing Russia and Belarus are not allowed to compete under their countries’ names or flags until further notice):

men

round 3

Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) vs. Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) 6-2, 6-2

Félix Auger-Aliassime (CAN x8) vs. Marcos Giron (USA) 6-3, 6-2

Denis Shapovalov (CAN x13) vs. Rafael Nadal (ESP x3) 1-6, 7-5, 6-2

Casper Ruud (NOR x5) vs. Jenson Brooksby (USA) 6-3, 6-4

Jannik Sinner (ITA x10) vs. Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 6-2, 7-6 (8/6)

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x4) vs. Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-0, 6-3

Christian Garín (CHI) vs. Marin Cilic (CRO) 6:3, 4:6, 6:4

Alexander Zverev (GER x2) vs. Alex De Minaur (AUS) 6-3, 7-6 (7/5)

woman

round 3

Iga Swiatek (1x POL) vs. Victoria Azarenka (16x) 6-4, 6-1

Bianca Andreescu (CAN) vs. Petra Martic (CRO) 6-4, 6-4

Aryna Sabalenka (x3) vs. Jessica Pegula (USA x13) 6-1, 6-4

Amanda Anisimova (USA) vs. Danielle Collins (USA x7) 6-2, 6-2

Ons Jabeur (TUN x9) vs. Julia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-3, 6-2

Maria Sakkari (GRE x4) vs. Coco Gauff (USA x15) 6-4, 7-5

Jil Teichmann (SUI) vs. Elena Rybakina (KAZ) 6:7 ​​(3/7), 6:3, 7:5

By Garrin Lambley © Agence France-Presse

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Battered Rafael Nadal falls at the Italian Open

Source link Battered Rafael Nadal falls at the Italian Open

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