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Posted at: May 17, 2018, 2:47 AM; last updated: May 17, 2018, 2:47 AM (IST)

Nadal, Djokovic power into third round of Italian Open

Rome, May 16

Rafa Nadal powered his way into the third round of the Italian Open on Wednesday with a straight-set win over Bosnian Damir Dzumhur.

The Spaniard won 6-1 6-0 in an hour as he targets an eighth title at the Foro Italico and first since 2013.

Novak Djokovic, who has slipped to world No. 18 after six defeats this year, eased past Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4 6-2.

Austrian Dominic Thiem, last week’s Madrid Open finalist, crashed at the first hurdle as top women’s seed Simona Halep demolished Japan’s Naomi Osaka.

Sixth seed Thiem, who inflicted the first claycourt defeat in almost a year on Nadal last week in Madrid, smashed his racquet in fury on his way to losing to Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-4 1-6 6-3 in just over two hours.

‘Helpless’

Earlier, Halep powered her way to a 6-1 6-0 win in just under an hour to claim her fourth win over 21st-ranked Osaka in five meetings.

“It was one of those helpless feeling,” conceded Osaka who could be heard saying “I want to cry” courtside.

The Romanian will next play 13th-seeded American Madison Keys, who battled past Donna Vekic 7-6(2) 7-6(0), for a place in the quarterfinals. France’s Caroline Garcia also eased into the third round past Hungary’s Timea Babos 6-3 6-4. Second seed Caroline Wozniacki defeated Alison Van Uytvanck 6-1 6-4, Maria Sharapova fought past Dominika Cibulkova 3-6 6-4 6-2, Venus Williams beat Elena Vesnina 6-2 4-6 7-5 and Angelique Kerber beat Irina-Camelia Begu 3-6 7-5 7-5. Maria Sakkari stunned sixth seed Karolina Pliskova 3-6 6-3 7-5.

In the men’s section, Kei Nishikori beat third seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-7(4) 7-5 6-4, fourth seed Marin Cilic defeated Ryan Harrison 6-7(3) 6-1 7-6(1), while fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro eased past Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5 6-3. — Agencies

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