Millennium Post

Rafa storms into Rome 3rd round

World No 2 Nadal brushes aside Dzumhur 6-1, 6-0 in an hour to reach the Round of 16

rome: Rafael Nadal powered his way into the third round of the ATP Italian Open on Wednesday with a straight sets win over Bosnian Damir Dzumhur.
The Spaniard won through 6-1, 6-0 in an hour as he targets an eighth title at the Foro Italico and first since 2013.
Nadal lost his first match on clay in over a year last week in the Madrid quarter-finals to Austrian Dominic Thiem and as a result lost his world number one ranking to Roger Federer.
Spain's Albert Ramos and Italy's Fabio Fognini pulled off upset victories on Wednesday to advance to the third round of the Italian Open.
World No. 41 Ramos managed to beat world No. 9 John Isner of the United States 6-7(5), 7-6(2), 7-6(5), reports Efe.
The Spanish player needed two hours and 54 minutes to avenge his 2017 loss to Isner in the same tournament
Also Wednesday, World No. 21 Fognini defeated World No. 8 Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in over two hours and six minutes.
After the match, Theim said it "was a very intense fight, basically from the beginning to the end. So I'm disappointed that I lost, obviously. But game-wise, I'm not really disappointed."
For the third round, Ramos is set to take on either Serbia's Novak Djokovic or Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili, while Fognini is scheduled to face Peter Gojowczyk of Germany.
World No. 7 Caroline Garcia of France advanced to the third round of the Italian Open for the first time in her career on Wednesday, after defeating Timea Babos of Hungary 6-3, 6-4.
Garcia prevailed over world No. 38 Babos in one hour and 20 minutes, reports Efe.
Next up, Garcia is to square off against world No. 10 Sloane Stephens of the United States, who defeated Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-0, 5-7, 6-4.
Romania's Simona Halep on Wednesday defeated Japan's Naomi Osaka 6-1, 6-0 to advance to the third round of the Italian Open, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournament.
It took the World No. 1 just 59 minutes to beat Osaka, World No. 21, moving one step closer to winning her first Italian Open title, after finishing runner-up in 2017, reports Efe.
Halep, 26, fired 15 winners compared to Osaka's 10, and has won four out of five career matches against the Japanese player.
In the upcoming round, Halep is set to take on either the United States' Madison Keys or Croatia's Donna Vekic, who knocked out Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro in the tournament's first round on Monday.
Earlier, Defending champion Elina Svitolina eased into the third round of the WTA Italian Open as three-time winner Maria Sharapova needed a marathon three sets to get past Australian Ashleigh Barty.
Svitolina, the fourth seed, received a first round bye and dropped just three games in a dominant 6-1 6-2 victory over 35th-ranked Petra Martic on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old Ukrainian won the biggest clay court title of her career last year at the Foro Italico. And she continued where she left off despite the rainy conditions, needing just over an hour to peg back her Croatian rival.
By contrast, Sharapova needed two and a half hours to master 18th-ranked Barty 7-5 3-6 6-2 in their first round match.
"It was tough, tough conditions," said 40th-ranked Sharapova, who reached the quarter-finals in Madrid last week. "It felt like I was playing three different matches.
"There was a long wait and the way the court played, the way she played, the shadows, the little bit of a breeze out there. So, a lot going on.
"I think it was a really good way to end the match, to get that win." Sharapova's victory, her 34th on clay in the Italian capital, came in her first meeting with Barty, who was making her Rome debut.
Barty pushed the five-time Grand Slam winner to a third set as she did against Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki last week in Madrid.
The game swung the Russian's direction in the final set when Sharapova held serve in a crucial 1-1 game from 0-40 down after having failed to convert three break points in the previous game.
Barty, ranked 18, saved two match points in the final game a but two unforced errors in a row handed Sharapova a second round berth.
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