Nadal off to winning start in 10th Italian Open title bid
Rafael Nadal opened his attempt to win a 10th Italian Open title on Wednesday with a straight sets victory over teenager Yannick Sinner to advance to the third round.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner won through 7-5, 6-4 despite a spirited fightback from the 18th-ranked Italian who was twice up a break in the first set before saving six set points.
Sinner was again a break up in the second before Nadal powered back for 4-4 seeing off the Italian on his fourth match point.
Day 4 at the @InteBNLdItalia— ATP Tour (@atptour) May 12, 2021
Nadal d. Sinner
Karatsev d. Medvedev
Thiem d. Fucsovics
Tsitsipas d. Cilic
Zverev d. Dellien
Rublev d. Struff
Berrettini d. Millman
“After Madrid it was important to start with a positive feeling,” said Nadal who was beaten in the last eight at both previous Masters events, in Monte Carlo and Madrid.
“Today was a tough match. I think I did a lot of things well. I made mistakes too but combined these with positive things too.”
Nadal, 34, next plays Canadian Denis Shapovalov, the 13th seed, for a place in the quarterfinal.
Top seed Novak Djokovic and second seed Nadal have accounted for 14 of the past 16 titles at Foro Italico.