Rafael Nadal to face Fabio Fognini in the Rome Masters quarter-finals

Rafael Nadal eased to victory against Denis Shapovalov at Foro Italico

Rafael Nadal eased to victory against Denis Shapovalov at Foro Italico

Rafael Nadal stayed on course for an eighth Rome Masters title by seeing off Denis Shapovalov to set up a quarter-final with Fabio Fognini.

Top-seed Nadal brushed aside the challenge of Canadian teenager Shapovalov with a comfortable 6-4 6-1 victory.

The 31-year-old will face Italian Fognini in the last eight as he looks to retake the world No 1 ranking from Roger Federer.

Nadal took the opening set with a break in the seventh game before racing through the second to gain a measure of revenge for his shock defeat by the 19-year-old in Montreal last year.

“It was a tough first set,” Nadal said. “I’m happy for the victory against a difficult opponent and looking forward to the quarter-final.

“He’s [Fognini] is a tough player and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Fognini will take on Nadal in a tasty quarter-final clash on Friday
Fognini will take on Nadal in a tasty quarter-final clash on Friday

Fognini backed up his impressive victory over world No 8 Dominic Thiem on Wednesday with a dominant 6-4 6-4 victory over Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk in the opening match of the day’s schedule.

Pablo Carreno Busta appeared set to record a comfortable straight-sets victory over Aljaz Bedene when he moved 5-0 ahead in the second set, but the world No 65 Slovenian fought back and saved two match points to force a deciding set.

Despite the setback, the Spaniard managed to reassert his control on proceedings with two breaks of serve to secure a quarter-final encounter with fourth-seed Marin Cilic after the Croatian beat France’s Benoit Paire 6-3 6-4.

The Masters 1000 Series continues with our coverage of the ATP Italian Open on Sky Sports Arena from 11am on Friday

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