Fognini finds sweet spot in Rome with epic lob

Pauline Gross
May 18, 2018

Fabio Fognini got the Italian Open crowd fired up with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 win over sixth-seeded Dominic Thiem to reach the third round on Wednesday.

Nadal, as top seed in Rome, enjoyed a first round bye.

He has another chance to regain the top spot this week and will replace Roger Federer at No.1 if he wins an eighth Rome title.

Shapovalov showed steely resolve early on, defending no less than eight break points in his opening two service games. "I started with some mistakes on the return but with my serve, I didn't lose many points". He also analyzed how the match went: 'From 3-3 then the match changed, probably he stopped a little bit to serve that big.

"He's good in all aspects. I hope in Paris I will have a little bit longer time to come into the tournament". Unfortunately for the Italian, he has lost their five meetings since that win, although he did manage to take a set off Nadal in Madrid a year ago. "So, I think it's a good thing that I played here".

The 24-year-old destroyed his racket in fury as he suffered his first defeat to Italian Fabio Fognini in three meetings, sinking 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 at the Foro Italico. Djokovic, a four-time victor at Rome, had five aces in the match and will next face Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who rallied past eighth-seeded American John Isner 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5) in two hours, 53 minutes.

Fourth seed Marin Cilic accounted for Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-3 6-4 while British No.1 Kyle Edmund was valiant in defeat to second seed Alexander Zverev, falling 7-5 7-6 (13-11).

In the women's tournament, Simona Halep's hold on the No 1 ranking received a boost when American Madison Keys withdrew from their last-16 match due to a rib injury.

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Wozniacki faces 15th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova in a late match.

Venus Williams, who won the Rome title back in 1999 and is bidding for her 50th career title this week, got her first win on clay this season.

Last year, Halep rolled her ankle in the final and lost a lead and the championship to Elina Svitolina.

The Romanian, a finalist in Rome previous year, is on her way to holding on to top spot as she next plays France's Caroline Garcia who dumped out US Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-1, 7-6 (9/7).

Wozniacki beat Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck 6-1, 6-4.

Meanwhile, former world number one Karolina Pliskova smashed the umpire's chair in frustration after she lost to Greece's Maria Sakkari in the second round.

Thiem was already looking ahead to the French Open, which starts on May 27.

Other reports by GizPress

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