Rome Masters: Rafael Nadal holds off Jannik Sinner while Cam Norrie misses out on a date with Novak Djokovic | Tennis News

Rome Masters: Rafael Nadal holds off Jannik Sinner while Cam Norrie misses out on a date with Novak Djokovic | Tennis News


Rafael Nadal defeats Italian teenager Jannik Sinner to reach the last 16 of the Rome Masters as Britain’s Cam Norrie misses out on a meeting with world No 1 Novak Djokovic; Naomi Osaka knocked out of the women’s event with Simona Halep picking up an injury

Last Updated: 13/05/21 8:20am

Rafael Nadal held off a strong challenge from Italian teenager Jannik Sinner at the Rome Masters

Rafael Nadal held off a strong challenge from Italian teenager Jannik Sinner at the Rome Masters

Rafael Nadal held off a strong challenge from Italian teenager Jannik Sinner to
reach the last 16 of the Rome Masters, as Britain’s Cam Norrie missed out on a date with Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka continued with her struggles on clay.

Nadal came through a tight contest against 19-year-old Sinner, a recent finalist in Miami, to prevail 7-6 6-4 in Rome.

Nadal, the second seed and current world No 3, will now face 13th seed Denis Shapovalov in round three following the Canadian’s 7-6 6-3 victory over another Italian in wildcard Stefano Travaglia.

Sinner pushed Nadal by claiming early breaks in both sets but the veteran Spaniard hit back to win in two hours 10 minutes.

Unseeded Aslan Karatsev continued his fine season with a superb 6-2 6-4 win over third seed and fellow Russian Daniil Medvedev.

It was another notable scalp for Karatsev, who beat world No 1 Djokovic in Belgrade last month.

Fourth seed Dominic Thiem was also given a scare before coming through against Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.

The Austrian came within two points of getting knocked out at the first hurdle for the third year in succession in the Italian capital as he lost the opening set and was taken to a tie-break in the second.

He eventually found his rhythm to nick the tie-break and cruise through the final set to a 3-6 7-6 6-0 success.

Fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas saw off Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2 and Alexander Zverev, the sixth seed, beat qualifier Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2.

Cam Norrie missed out on a date with Novak Djokovic

Cam Norrie missed out on a date with Novak Djokovic

Norrie missed out on a meeting with Djokovic as he bowed out in straight sets to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

The 25-year-old, who has enjoyed a fine season so far with 19 wins under his belt, went down 6-2 6-3 to a player ranked one place ahead of him at 48 in the world.

Norrie was a little late arriving on Court Four in Rome and took a while to settle, allowing Davidovich Fokina to break him to 15 in his first service game.

Norrie did hit back but the Spaniard broke again for 4-2 and a double-fault brought a sorry end to the opening set for the British No 2.

Davidovich Fokina double-faulted to give Norrie a break point in the third game of the second set, but then cheekily saved it with an underarm serve.

Norrie stayed with his opponent until 3-4 when a forehand clipped the net and floated wide to give the initiative to Davidovich Fokina.

The 21-year-old served out to wrap up victory in an hour and 13 minutes and set up a third-round clash with Djokovic.

Naomi Osaka continued her struggles on the red dirt as she suffered an early exit in Rome

Naomi Osaka continued her struggles on the red dirt as she suffered an early exit in Rome

World No 2 Naomi Osaka also crashed out of the tournament, losing 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 to American Jessica Pegula.

Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam winner, has often struggled on clay and her defeat in Rome followed a second-round loss at the Madrid Open earlier this month.

Former French Open champion Simona Halep retired from her second-round match against Angelique Kerber with a calf injury, raising doubts over her participation at Roland Garros.

Third seed Halep was leading 6-1 3-3 when she showed discomfort while trying to reach a first serve from her German opponent.

Halep massaged her left calf before hobbling to her bench, where she received treatment from a physio.

Unable to move, Halep decided to withdraw from the match and needed assistance to get off the court, causing doubt over whether she would be fit in time for the French Open, which begins on May 30.

Halep later wrote on Twitter that an ultrasound scan revealed a tear in her left calf.

“I will get an MRI tomorrow to understand the injury in more detail, but at the moment we are unsure of recovery time,” she said.

“I’m so disappointed to end my tournament in Rome like this but I will do everything I can to take care of the injury and be back as soon as possible.”

Kerber will next face another former French Open winner, Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, in the round of 16.

Top-ranked Ashleigh Barty and former champion Karolina Pliskova earned straight-set wins, while Vera Zvonareva knocked out 11th-seeded Petra Kvitova 6-4 3-6 6-4.

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