Italian Open 2018: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal Advance to Round of 16

Rafael Nadal is the favourite to win the tournament

When Thiem netted a service return two points later to end it, the White Stripes' Seven Nation Army was blasted over the stadium sound system and the crowd began singing along in an atmosphere that more closely resembled a soccer game than a tennis match.

The 30-year-old next plays Germany's Peter Gojowczyk before a possible quarter-final showdown with top-seed Nadal.

Thiem said: "It was an intense fight. And that's what I did today", said Nadal, who is targeting an eighth Rome title and first since 2013. Dimitrov, the world No. 4 who is celebrating his 27th birthday on Wednesday, also lost his first-round match at last week's Madrid Open. "I did have chances".

Men: Rafael Nadal bt Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-0; Novak Djokovic bt Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-2; Fabio Fognini bt Dominic Thiem 6-4, 1-6, 6-3; Albert Ramos bt John Isner 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5). "It was one of those helpless feeling", conceded Osaka who could be heard saying "I want to cry" courtside. Then Marin Cilic and Ryan Harrison will continue their match, that was interrupted during the first set tie-break on Tuesday due to rain.


"I just really wanted to win this match against a really classy player", said the five-time Grand Slam champion. He broke in the 11th game and later served out the set. Due to that, the southpaw not only failed to defend his Madrid title but also had to relinquish the top ranking to his greatest nemesis, Roger Federer. "It's just like one of those moments, like, you're a little bit depressed, and stuff". "I think I deserved it at the end". I don't know how many mistakes I made, but not many. "I feel like I've played her the most of any player, this was the third time this year". "And she was playing very solid".

He has French Open 10 out of 12 times in his career and surely he is the favourite this year as well. France's Caroline Garcia, a semi-finalist in Madrid last week, also eased into the third round past Hungary's Timea Babos 6-3, 6-4.

Quarter-final appearances in the Rio Open, Mexican Open, the Monte Carlo Open AND the Barcelona Open in the opening months of the season has kept Thiem at a consistent eighth place in the world rankings, but a slight drop from his previous peak position of number four in November 2017. Djokovic, a four-time victor at Rome, had five aces in the match and will next face Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who rallied past eighth-seeded American John Isner 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5) in two hours, 53 minutes.

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