Alexander Zverev joins Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic in Italian Open third round


"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. Fognini, ranked 21, kept his nerve while Thiem took out his frustration on his racket after handing his rival three match points, the Italian then sealing his first win in three meetings with the Austrian.

Italy's top player came out wearing a black shirt with a red lightning bolt design down his chest and he was energized from the start, grazing the flower beds lining the court to return Thiem's high-bouncing topspin serves and frustrating the Austrian with well-placed lobs and touch volleys. "I think I deserved it at the end". Over the years, only Robin Soderling and Novak Djokovic have managed to beat him on clay. "I ruined a few flowers but I think the federation can afford to buy some new ones". Nadal routed 31st-ranked Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-0, while Djokovic beat Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-2.

The biggest upset of the day belonged to Japan's Kei Nishikori, who came from behind to upend third-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-4.

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The Serbia will next play Spaniard Albert Ramos Vinolas who needed three sets to get past American eighth seed John Isner 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/5).

Fognini went onto see out the match to advance to the last 16, whilst Thiem will prepare for the Lyon Open in France next week, in preparation for a tilt at the prestigious French Open in Paris at the end of the month. The victory not only allowed Halep to exact revenge on Osaka following their one-sided clash at Indian Wells, but ensured the Romanian retains her top ranking.

The Serb's forehand was particularly loose, and he had to fend off a pair of break points before he was able to grab a break of his own in the first set. "I did have chances", said Thiem. And I knew she knew I couldn't hit a backhand, so we were just having backhand rallies. "And she was playing very solid".

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She could not hide her fury as she went on to lose the match 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. In the middle of the sixth game the Chair Umpire over-ruled a call after inspecting the point where the ball landed. He broke in the 11th game and later served out the set.

Also, U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens held off a comeback from Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi in a 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 victory, and seventh-seeded Caroline Garcia defeated Timea Babos 6-3, 6-4.

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