Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his Italian Open third round match against Canada's Denis Shapovalov. Photo: Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters
Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his Italian Open third round match against Canada's Denis Shapovalov. Photo: Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters

Rafael Nadal saves two match points to beat Denis Shapovalov and reach Rome quarter-finals

By AFP Time of article published May 13, 2021

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ROME – Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal saved two match points to defeat Canada's Denis Shapovalov in a three-set battle and advance to the quarter-finals of the Italian Open on Thursday.

Second seed Nadal won through 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) after nearly 3hr 30min on court against the 13th-seeded Shapovalov.

Nadal was trailing a set and 0-3 down in the second set before powering back.

Shapovalov also broke for 3-1 in the third set but Nadal broke back immediately and held on despite two match points against him in the 12th game to force a tie-break.

The Spaniard reached his 16th last-eight appearance in Rome and a 97th ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final.

The 34-year-old will next play either Germany's Alexander Zverev, the sixth seed, or Japan's Kei Nishikori for a place in the semi-finals.

Nadal lost to Zverev in the Madrid Masters quarter-finals last week.

AFP

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