Monday, October 26, 2020
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Nadal beaten in Rome quarter-final

Nadal had won the Rome Open on nine occasions before bowing out in the quarter-finals
Nadal had won the Italian Open nine times

Rafael Nadal was beaten in straight sets in the quarter-final of the Italian Open but Novak Djokovic is through to the semi-finals.

The nine-time champion lost to Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman for the first time in his career, going down 6-2 7-5 as he struggled with his serve.

Djokovic also dropped a set and needed more than two hours to defeat 97th-ranked German Dominik Koepfer 6-3 4-6 6-3.

The Serb’s temper was on display again.

He smashed a racquet after losing a service game, two weeks after being defaulted from the US Open for hitting a line judge with a ball.

“It’s not the first nor the last racquet I’ll break in my career,” he said.

“That’s how I guess I release sometimes my anger. I am working on my mental and emotional health as much as I’m working on my physical health.”

Djokovic will play Norway’sCasper Ruudwho earlier battled past Italian fourth seedMatteo Berrettini4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5).

Meanwhile Schwartzman, who had never beaten a top five player, broke Nadal’s serve five times in an impressive performance and will play CanadianDenis Shapovalov, who beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-2 3-6 6-2 for his 100th tour-level win.

In the women’s draw, top seedSimona Halepwill play SpaniardGarbine Muguruzain the semi-final, a battle of former French Open champions before Roland Garros begins on Monday.

Halep went through after Kazakhstan’sYulia Putintsevaretired injured while trailing 6-2 2-0, while Muguruza beat US Open finalistVictoria Azarenka3-6 6-3 6-4.

Double Rome champion and fourth seedElina Svitolina, who decided not to play the US Open to prepare for the clay court season, was hammered 6-3 6-0 by CzechMarketa Vondrousova.

Vondrousova will play compatriotKarolina Pliskovaor Belgium’sElise Mertensin the other semi-final.


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