Written By Uche Dozie
Canadian, Dennis Shapavolov handed Rafael Nadal his earliest Rome exit since 2008.
Rafael Nadal’s time at the 2022 Italian Open has come to an end after his 6-1, 6-7, 2-6 loss to Dennis Shapavolov in the third round of the tournament on Thursday.
The world number four after taking the first set struggled to keep the same level as the first set losing the remaining sets following a struggle with pains on his foot.
Denis Shapovalov earned his 150th career win, made his sixth career ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal, and became the first player to beat Rafa before the quarters of a Masters event since…himself, at the 2017 Montreal Masters, reports Tennis.com.
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Nevertheless, the Spanish twenty-one times grand slam winner’s injury on the foot showed up again revealing the king of clay’s uncomfortable state in the second set.
“I am not injured; I am a player living with an injury,” Nadal said in post-match press, referring to the Mueller-Weiss Syndrome that affects his foot. “It’s something that is there, and unfortunately, my day by day is difficult, honestly. It’s difficult for me to accept the situation sometimes … A lot of days I can’t practice the proper way.”
“I don’t want to take anything away from Denis,” Nadal continued, citing the five-set contest the two played at this year’s Australian Open.
Shapavolov hopes his idol is fit for the Roland Garros in ten days time.
“Hopefully he is alright for the French Open. Like I always say I’m a huge fan of his. I grow up watching him, wanting to play like him.”
Defeating Nadal, Shapovalov sets a date with Casper Ruud, with the winner possibility getting Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. Rudd got his first clay Masters 1000 quarter finals of the year after beating Brooksby 6-3 6-4.
Tunisian Ons Jabeur Progress To The Quarter Finals
Mutua Madrid Open champion, Ons Jabeur defeated Yulia Putintseva in straight sets and advances to the quarterfinals in Rome.
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The Tunisian with her ninth consecutive win breeze pass the Kazakhstan in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.
The world number seven will contest with Maria Sakkari of Greece who made it through to the quarterfinals, defeating Coco Gauff, 6-4, 7-5 in the quarter finals.
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