Nadal in third round

Rafael Nadal looks to seal last-eight spot at Madrid Open

Meanwhile, clay king Nadal was relieved to be back winning as he builds towards the French Open, racing to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Bosnian Damir Dzumhur.

Having received a bye in the opening round of the tournament, the Spaniard tennis maestro had yesterday kick-started his campaign in Madrid Arena with a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 win over French player Gael Monfils in a one-sided second-round clash that lasted one hour and 13 minutes.

Japan's Kei Nishikori denied Grigor Dimitrov a 27th birthday win to progress to the third round, rallying back from a set down to beat the world number four 6-7 (4) 7-5 6-4.

Nishikori, who entered Rome on a three-match losing streak, came from a set and a break down to defeat Dimitrov for the fourth time in five FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings. Djokovic, a four-time victor at Rome, had five aces in the match and will next face Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who rallied past eighth-seeded American John Isner 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5) in two hours, 53 minutes. I also had control, more or less, of a high percentage of the points. "I don't know how many mistakes I did, but not much", said Nadal.Djokovic, a four-time victor, is on the comeback trail three months after elbow surgery and eased past Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-2.

Following a shot that Thiem sent far and wide past Fognini's baseline, the former was so incensed that he swung his racquet to the ground, and clearly one swing wasn't enough as he continued to destroy it on the clay. "I think I deserved it at the end".

"For some reason, I couldn't get a ball in the court after that, on my backhand side", Osaka said.

"It's a loss which is not too painful, which is just motivating me for the next weeks", the Austrian said.

Instead of shaking hands with the umpire after the match, Pliskova first put her hand out before beating up the chair.Earlier, top women's seed Simona Halep needed just under an hour to advance 6-1, 6-0 past Naomi Osaka to avenge her defeat to the Japanese player in Indian Wells. "She has a very solid game plan for me". I don't know how many mistakes I made, but not many.

Past year in Rome, Halep rolled her ankle in the final and lost a lead and the championship to Elina Svitolina.

She could not hide her fury as she went on to lose the match 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. He broke in the 11th game and later served out the set.

Maria Sakkari upset sixth seed Karolina Pliskova in three sets with an impressive comeback, and Johanna Konta overcame Su-Wei Hsieh 6-0, 6-4.



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