Swiatek and Djokovic progress to quarter-finals while Nadal knocked out
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(Tennis news) Iga Swiatek and Novak Djokovic progressed to the quarter-finals of the Italian Open while Denis Shapovalov defeated Rafael Nadal. Swiatek, who is aiming for her fifth consecutive title, defeated Victoria Azarenka 6-4 6-1 while Novak Djokovic defeated Stan Wawrinka in straight sets 6-2 6-2. As for Nadal, the Spaniard started strongly against Shapovalov, winning the first set 6-1 but the 23 year old levelled the game. In the decider, Nadal appeared to be in visible discomfort and struggled to cope with the match.
During the post match press conference, Nadal spoke about his injury by saying “I had my foot again with a lot of pain, and that's it. (The pain) is sometimes more, sometimes less. Today was crazy. I am not injured. I am a player living with an injury. That's it. (This) is nothing new. It's something that is there. Unfortunately my day-by-day is difficult, honestly. Even like this, I am trying hard. Of course, it's difficult for me to accept the situation sometimes. What can happen in the next couple of days, I don't know. What can happen in one week, I really don't know now. It's time to accept the situation and fight. That's it."
Swiatek saved eight out of 11 breakpoints as the first set took 79 minutes. However, the Polish tennis player picked up momentum in the second set and will now face Bianca Andreescu in the next round. Swiatek’s result means that the Pole extended her winning streak to 25 matches, the longest run since Serena Williams won 27 straight games in 2015. She will now face former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu who defeated Petra Martic 6-4 6-4 while Aryna Sabalenka overcame Jessica Pegula 6-1 6-4.
Speaking after the match, Swiatek said “For sure I didn't start well, and everybody could see that. I'm really happy with the way I reacted and how I improved in the first set. Also how different the second set looked to the first one because I could really reset and really change the way I played. That's the most positive thing for me."
World Number 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals of the Italian Open. The Serbian will now face eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime who defeated Marcos Giron 6-3 6-2. Speaking after the match, Djokovic said “It's great to see Stan back. He won two tough matches and you could see he's not physically where he wants to be. But, nevertheless, he's Stan Wawrinka, he can hurt you if you give him time and I managed to do well I think. From the beginning I really moved him around the court and held my serve pretty comfortably, except for that loss of serve in the second set."
In other results, Alexander Zverev defeated Alex De Minaur 6-3 7-6 (7-5) while Stefanos Tsitsipas overcame Karen Khachanov 4-6 6-0 6-3 despite being a set down and will now face Jannik Sinner in the next round.