Nadal saves two match points to win Rome epic

Filed on May 13, 2021
Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates a point against Canada's Denis Shapovalov during their match. (AFP)

Nadal was trailing a set and 0-3 down in the second set before powering back

Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal saved two match points to defeat Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in a three-set battle and advance to the quarterfinals of the Italian Open on Thursday.

Second seed Nadal won through 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) after nearly 3hr 30min on court against the 13th-seeded Shapovalov.

Nadal was trailing a set and 0-3 down in the second set before powering back.

Shapovalov also broke for 3-1 in the third set but Nadal broke back immediately and held on despite two match points against him in the 12th game to force a tie-break.

The Spaniard reached his 16th last-eight appearance in Rome and a 97th ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal.

The 34-year-old will next play either Germany’s Alexander Zverev, the sixth seed, or Japan’s Kei Nishikori for a place in the semifinals.

Nadal lost to Zverev in the Madrid Masters quarterfinals last week.


Thursday (x denotes seeding):


3rd round

Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) 6-2, 6-1

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x5) bt Matteo Berrettini (ITA x9) 7-6 (7/3), 6-2

Federico Delbonis (ARG) bt Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 7-6 (7/3), 6-1

Reilly Opelka (USA) bt Aslan Karatsev (RUS) 7-6 (8/6), 6-4

Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) bt Denis Shapovalov (CAN x13) 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3)


3rd round

Ashleigh Barty (AUS x1) bt Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) 6-3, 6-3

Coco Gauff (USA) bt Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x7) 7-5, 6-3

Iga Swiatek (POL x15) bt Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5

Karolina Pliskova (CZE x9) bt Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 7-5, 6-3

Petra Martic (CRO) bt Nadia Podoroska (ARG) 3-6, 6-1, 6-2

Jessica Pegula (USA) bt Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 6-2, 6-4

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