Rafael Nadal eases past Damir Dzumhur at Internazionali BNL d’Italia
Nadal needed only an hour to defeat Dzumhur.
Defeat in the quarter-finals last week meant not just the end of his 50-set winning streak on clay but also his latest stay as world number one, with Roger Federer reclaiming the spot.
But Nadal can take it back by winning in Rome and he set his stall out by blitzing Dzumhur 6-1 6-0 in an hour. It is the 13th time in his career Nadal has dropped only one game in a match, but he is still looking for his first ‘double bagel’.
Novak Djokovic reached the final last year and faces a big ranking drop if he does not come close to matching that. The Serbian has been untroubled thus far and defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4 6-2 to reach the third round.
Sixth seed Thiem made the final in Madrid but was upset here by Italian Fabio Fognini in a raucous atmosphere on the Centrale Court, the home favourite coming through 6-4 1-6 6-3.
Another shock saw Kei Nishikori, who continues to work his way back up the rankings after wrist problems, defeat third seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-7 (4/7) 7-5 6-4, while eighth seed John Isner lost in three tie-breaks to Albert Ramos-Vinolas.