Italian Open: Nadal beats Jannik Sinner, will face Denis Shapovalov
World number three Rafael Nadal outclassed Jannik Sinner in an intense battle at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. Nadal made use of all his experience to beat the 19-year-old 7-5, 6-4. The Spanish maestro will now face 13th seed Denis Shapovalov in the third round in Rome. Elsewhere, Aslan Karatsev stunned third seed Daniil Medvedev, defeating him 6-2, 6-4. Here is more.
How did the match pan out?
Coming into the match, Nadal had only lost a total of four games in his last four Rome openers. Even then, Sinner showed no nerves against the 13-time Roland Garros champion. The former claimed an early lead with a break in both sets. However, Nadal fought back twice to secure the victory in two hours and 10 minutes.
Nadal maintains his dominance over Italian opponents in Rome
With the victory, Nadal improved to 7-0 against Italian opponents in Rome, and extended his winning record in opening matches to 16-1 at the Foro Italico. Nadal has now won two games against Sinner, having defeated him at the Roland Garros earlier.
WATCH: The winning moment
Nadal to face Denis Shapovalov in next round
Nadal is set to face 13th seed Denis Shapovalov in the next round. Shapovalov romped past wild card entrant Stefano Travaglia, 7-6(2), 6-3, in an hour and 35 minutes to book his fourth meeting with the Spaniard. Nadal owns a 2-1 ATP head-to-head lead over Shapovalov. He won the only previous encounter between the two on clay at this venue in 2018.
Aslan Karatsev upsets third seed Daniil Medvedev
In another fixture, Russia's Aslan Karatsev stunned third seed Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 6-4 in one hour and 18 minutes. This marked his second win against a Top 5 opponent in the past month after upsetting world number one Novak Djokovic in Belgrade. In what is just his fourth tour-level clay appearance, Karatsev proceeds to the third round where he will face Reilly Opelka.