ATP Tour: Rafael Nadal reaches Internazionali BNL d'Italia quarter-finals

Tennis
Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal subdued the precocious talent of Denis Shapovalov to reach the quarter-finals of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.

Shapovalov went into the match with a winning record against Nadal after beating him on home soil in Canada last summer but the Spaniard on clay is, of course, a very different proposition and he ultimately eased to a 6-4 6-1 victory.

There were plenty of the eye-catching shots that make 19-year-old Shapovalov such an exciting prospect as he saved eight break points in his first two service games, but Nadal broke for 4-3 and thereafter was in control.

Shapovalov not surprisingly began to look tired in the second set after his run to the Madrid semi-finals last week and battling victories over Tomas Berdych and Robin Haase in the first two rounds here and could not live with the relentlessness of Nadal.

In the last eight, Nadal will face another flashy player in Italian Fabio Fognini, who delighted the home crowd with a 6-4 6-4 win against Peter Gojowczyk.

Fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro retired with a groin injury during the second set of his clash with David Goffin.

The Argentinian did not appear comfortable at any point in the match and went off court for a medical time-out early in the second set.

Initially that seemed to adversely affect Goffin but, after missing a set point, Del Potro decided he could no longer continue and shook hands trailing 2-6 5-4.

The 29-year-old will hope to recover in time for the French Open, which begins on May 27.

Tenth seed Pablo Carreno Busta recovered from a second-set wobble to beat Aljaz Bedene 6-4 6-7 (3/7) 6-2.

Kyle Edmund produced a valiant show as Alexander Zverev beat him 7-5 7-6 (13/11).

Edmund went out after an epic second set tie-break in which he saved seven match points.

The British number one had two set points in the second set, but he was unable to stop the defending champion reaching the quarter-finals.

Zverev came into the match in excellent clay court form after recent successes in Munich and Madrid.

The German seemed on a comfortable course for his 11th successive win as he took an early advantage.

But Edmund broke back to level at 5-5 before Zverev responded by taking the next two games.

Edmund was soon a break down in the second set, but he won three games in a row to make it 5-4.

He was unable to take a set point as Zverev made sure of a tie-break which will be long remembered.

Edmund saved three match points at 6-3 down and then led 7-6 to stand on the brink of forcing a deciding set.

But Zverev saved a second set point for Edmund and eventually accepted his eighth match point to set up a date on Friday with Belgium's David Goffin.

Novak Djokovic maintained his record of never having lost a set to Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas with a 7-5 6-1 victory, while Kei Nishikori eased through 6-1 6-2 against Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Fourth seed Marin Cilic completed the quarter-final line-up by overcoming Benoit Paire 6-3 6-4.

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