News

Ailing Nadal falls in Italian Open third round to Shapovalov


Novak Djokovic is chasing a sixth title in Rome

Defending champion Rafael Nadal crashed out of the Italian Open in the third round on Thursday with the record 10-time Rome winner complaining of a recurring foot problem after a shock 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 defeat by Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

Defeat in Rome for ‘King of Clay’ Nadal casts doubt over his prospects at the upcoming French Open, where he has been crowned champion 13 times but faces a threat from teenage phenomenon Carlos Alcaraz.

Nadal began limping in the third set, later telling reporters that a foot problem had flared up during the second set but couldn’t say whether he would be able to take part at Roland Garros.

Read Next

“It’s something that is there unfortunately and my day by day is difficult. I am trying hard but of course it is difficult for me. A lot of days I can’t practice.

Nadal has won an all-time record 21 Grand Slam titles in a glittering two-decade career which may now finally be reaching its downturn.

“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.

– Djokovic strolls through –

Djokovic is in his record-extending 369th week as the world number one and must reach at least the semis to avoid losing his top ranking spot to Daniil Medvedev.

“It’s great to see Stan back… You can see that physically he’s still not there where he wants to be but nevertheless he’s Stan Wawrinka. He can hurt you if you give time,” Djokovic said after the match.

Monte Carlo Masters champion Stefanos Tsitsipas was forced to work harder for his 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 win over former Paris Masters winner Karen Khachanov which sets him up with home hope Jannick Sinner.

Women’s world number one Iga Swiatek claimed her 25th straight victory, defeating Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-1 despite a rocky start.

However she had to come back from losing the first three games of the match and then battled through a series of long games before finally breaking Azarenka’s resolve early in the decisive second set.

“It gives me confidence that even when my game is not hundred percent good, I can still win matches. So it works both ways.”

td/ea/lp

Read Next



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

close