Italian Open 2021: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal Advance to Quarterfinals

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 13, 2021


Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal both advanced to the men's quarterfinals in the 2021 Italian Open on Thursday to remain on a potential collision course for the final.

In the women's bracket, No. 1 seed Ashleigh Barty cruised through to the quarterfinals with a straight-sets victory over Veronika Kudermetova, but another meeting with Aryna Sabalenka isn't in the cards as the 23-year-old rising star was upset by American teenager Coco Gauff.

Let's check out all of the scores from Thursday's singles matches at Foro Italico in Rome, which will be updated through the conclusion of play. That's followed by a recap of the day's top clay-court action.

Men's Results

(1) Novak Djokovic d. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina; 6-2, 6-1

(2) Rafael Nadal d. (13) Denis Shapovalov; 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3)

Lorenzo Sonego d. (4) Dominic Thiem; 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5)

(5) Stefanos Tsitsipas d. (9) Matteo Berrettini; 7-6 (3), 6-2

(6) Alexander Zverev d. Kei Nishikori; 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

(7) Andrey Rublev d. (10) Roberto Bautista Agut: 6-4, 6-4

Reilly Opelka d. Aslan Karatsev; 7-6 (6), 6-4

Federico Delbonis d. Felix Auger-Aliassime; 7-6 (3), 6-1

Women's Results

(1) Ashleigh Barty d. Veronika Kudermetova; 6-3, 6-3

(5) Elina Svitolina d. (12) Garbine Muguruza; 6-4, 6-2

Coco Gauff d. (7) Aryna Sabalenka; 7-5, 6-3

(9) Karolina Pliskova d. Vera Zvonareva; 7-5, 6-3

(15) Iga Swiatek d. Barbora Krejcikova; 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5

Petra Martic d. Nadia Podoroska; 3-6, 6-1, 6-2

Jessica Pegula d. Ekaterina Alexandrova; 6-2, 6-4

Jelena Ostapenko d. Angelique Kerber; 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

Day 6 Recap

Davidovich Fokina has produced some promising results throughout the clay-court season, including an upset Grigor Dimitrov of the first round in Rome, but he was no match for Djokovic on Thursday.

The defending Italian Open champion needed barely over an hour to advance on the strength of five breaks. It was a highly efficient performance, with the 33-year-old Serb winning 68 percent of the points on serve and 56 percent while returning.

"I thought I played well," Djokovic told reporters. "He started well and broke my serve in the first game. I made some errors, but I managed to break back right away and establish the control and consistency on the court. I think from the back of the court I was just a bit more solid than him."

He moves on to face Tsitsipas in the marquee match of the men's quarters.

Tennis TV @TennisTV

A 15th quarter-final in 15 Rome appearances! 👏<br><br>Five-time champion @DjokerNole defeats Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-1 in 70 minutes.#IBI21 pic.twitter.com/zwhzsfIpNQ

Nadal found himself down a set and trailing 3-0 in the second set before he finally started to find a groove. He won six of the next seven games to force a deciding set.

The King of Clay faced a match point in his last service game of the final set, but he saved the break point and proceeded to win the match in a tiebreak.

It was far from his best performance, as shown by Shapovalov's 12 aces, but Nadal came up big in the clutch to keep his pursuit of a 10th Italian Open title alive.

ATP Tour @atptour

A true warrior 💪<br><br>🎥: @TennisTV | @RafaelNadal | #IBI21pic.twitter.com/Y2hiOeNTp0

Barty has reached the final in her last two tournaments, the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and the Madrid Open, and she's steamrolling in that direction again after breezing past Kudermetova.

The 2019 French Open champion has established herself as the favorite for this year's trip to Roland Garros with her recent form. That trend continued Thursday with nine aces and four breaks to avoid even a hint of third-round drama.

"Without a doubt, happy with how we were able to tactically move about that match today and kind of stick to what we hoped would work and be able to execute," Barty said.

wta @WTA

Victory lap for 🇦🇺 @ashbarty as the fans are back in Rome 👋<br><br>The World No.1 is through to face Gauff in the @InteBNLdItalia quarterfinals! 🍿 pic.twitter.com/qtbKqMCHVf

Two Americans, Gauff and Pegula, were among the other notable winners on the women's side.

The Italian Open continues Friday with the quarterfinals in both draws. The champions will be crowned Sunday.


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