Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 26 May 2019

Italian Open: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Naomi Osaka progress to third round

Plenty of players set for day of double action after Wednesday's washout results in a congested schedule

Rafael Nadal was far too strong for Jeremy Chardy in the Italian Open second round. Reuters
Rafael Nadal was far too strong for Jeremy Chardy in the Italian Open second round. Reuters

Rafael Nadal made a statement of intent to reach the Italian Open third round on Thursday, losing just one game in a 6-0, 6-1 win over Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.

Doubts have been raised over Nadal's failure to win a clay court tournament so far this season, following three syccessive semi-final losses in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid.

But the Spanish world No 2 meant business in his opening assignment against Chardy, needing just over an hour to book a third round meeting with Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili, who defeated the in-form Laslo Djere.

Roger Federer was also a straight sets winner in Rome, but was pushed a bit harder in a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Portugal's Joao Sousa. The Swiss third seed will play seed Croatian 13th seed Borna Coric later in the day after Wednesday was washed out.

The big surprise of the day came in Fernando Verdasco's win over Barcelona Open champion Dominic Thiem, the veteran Spaniard taking out the world No 4 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Marin Cilic was another big seed to fall, the Croatian world No 10 going down 6-2, 6-3 to Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff.

There were also wins for Japanese world No 6 Kei Nishikori - a 6-2, 6-4 winner over American Taylor Fritz - and Argentina's Diego Schwartzman, who defeated Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Osaka up and running

Naomi Osaka defeated Dominika Cibulkova to advance at the Italian Open. Getty Images
Naomi Osaka defeated Dominika Cibulkova to advance at the Italian Open. Getty Images

World No 1 Naomi Osaka eased into the third round of the Italian Open on with a straight sets win over Dominika Cibulkova.

The two-time grand slam winner won through 6-3, 6-3 for her fourth win in as many matches against the 33rd-ranked Slovak who she also beat last week in Madrid.

Former French Open winner Garbine Muguruza needed three sets to get past American Danielle Collins 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

The Spanish former world No 1, now ranked 19th, next plays Belarus Victoria Azarenka, who ousted two-time defending champion Elina Svitolina in the second round.

Sixth seed Kiki Bertens also needed three sets to get past American Amanda Anisimova 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, with France's Kristina Mladenovic seeing off Swiss Belinda Bencic 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 to set up a meeting with eighth-seed Ashleigh Barty of Australia.

Updated: May 16, 2019 04:11 PM

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