On Wednesday, Rafael Nadal breezed into the last 16 of the Italian Open, defeating John Isner 6-3, 6-1, while Iga Swiatek is on track to win her fifth straight WTA title by defeating Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3, 6-0.
As he seeks an 11th title in Rome, third seed Nadal did quick work of Isner, defeating the American in one hour and 17 minutes at the Foro Italico.
Nadal, who lost in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open to countryman Carlos Alcaraz, might take advantage of the in-form teenager’s absence in the Italian city to win the penultimate important clay event before the French Open later this month.
The 35-year-old had been out for six weeks due to a rib injury before returning to the Spanish capital last week, but Isner faced minimal opposition as a 21-time Grand Slam winner.
“I need to rebuild things after a tough stop,” Nadal said courtside. “That’s what I’m attempting, just to stay with the proper mentality and see if I can make that happen.”
Rafael Nadal world number 27
Nadal cruised to win, dropping only 14 points en route to a third-round match against Denis Shapovalov.
As wiping the floor with Ruse, Nadal later told reporters that Swiatek was doing “great things,” and it was difficult to disagree after setting up a third-round showdown with Victoria Azarenka.
Swiatek, who is 20 years old and has won her previous four tournaments. Will be aiming for her second Roland Garros crown after winning as a youngster in 2020.
Swiatek only allowed Ruse to score nine points in the second set, highlighting the disparity between the two players.
Former champion Karolina Pliskova knock out of the women’s competition after losing 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to Jil Teichmann of Switzerland.
Pliskova had reached the finals in Rome three times before winning the title in 2019. But she was defeated by Teichmann, 24, in a two-hour and 40-minute flight.
With a 6-2, 6-0 win over Zhang Shuai, third seed Aryna Sabalenka advanced to the next round. While Coco Gauff advanced to the last 16 after defeating fellow American Madison Brengle 6-2, 6-4.
However, he failed to convert both of his match opportunities, which came against serve. And Tsitsipas won the tie-break with five straight points.
After defeating Sebastian Baez 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, the 23-year-old might face second seed Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals, as he did in Madrid.
Jannik Sinner of Italy defeated Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. To go to the quarterfinals, where he will face Filip Krajinovic. See more