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Rafa Nadal storms past Denis Shapovalov into the quarter-finals

18 May 2018

After a surprise summer loss a year ago to Denis Shapovalov, Rafael Nadal gained revenge on his surface, slamming the Canadian 6-4, 6-1 to reach the Rome Masters quarterfinals.

The Spaniard didn't face a break point in his match against Dzumhur, who won his sole game after dropping the first five of the first set.

"It was a positive match, of course", said Nadal, as quoted by the Express.

For Zverev it was an 11th consecutive win after back-to-back title runs at Munich and Madrid. And that's what I did today.

And I hope to be ready to make that happen, to play at the right level to be competitive and try to find the way to have my chances.' Nadal finally indicated that there are two reasons why he has not been winning the Rome title since 2013. "I started with some mistakes on the return. [Fognini] is a tough player and I'm looking forward to the challenge".

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A break to love gave the 16-time major victor an early advantage in the second and he battled from 0-40 down in game five to add a second, a gap that proved insurmountable for an increasingly frustrated Shapovalov.

Also on the red clay of the Foro Italico, Albert Ramos-Vinolas rallied to beat eighth-seeded John Isner 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5).

Without a doubt, Nadal played one of his best matches ever to begin his Rome challenge.

In the women's event, number eight seed and five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams suffered a shock loss to Estonia's Anett Kontaveit. 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 previous year.

Nishikori, who snapped a three-match losing streak, will meet Philipp Kohlschreiber for a place in the quarterfinals.

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Defending champion Alexander Zverev needed eight match points before completing a 7-5, 7-6 (11) win over Kyle Edmund.

Also, U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens held off a comeback from Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi in a 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 victory; seventh-seeded Caroline Garcia defeated Timea Babos 6-3, 6-4; and 14th-seeded Daria Kasatkina eliminated American qualifier Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-3. The Spaniard beat his second round opponent 6-1 6-0 as he looked to put the ghosts of his past behind after a quarter-final defeat at the hands of Dominic Thiem in the Madrid Open.

The Czech went on to lose that game and the match 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours 21 minutes.

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Rafa Nadal storms past Denis Shapovalov into the quarter-finals