The desired duel in Rome, between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, which would serve as an aperitif for the Roland Garros Tournament, which begins on the 27th, will no longer be possible. Nadal was eliminated from Internazionali BNL d’Italia by Diego Schwartzman, who inflicted on the world number two his first defeat on clay since May 2019.
Schwartzman (15th), who had lost the previous nine matches, became the ninth player since 2005 to beat Nadal on clay and in straight sets, joining Juan Carlos Ferrero, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer, Fabio Fognini, Andy Murray , Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem. The Argentinian added 31 winners and took advantage of the fact that the opponent placed only 43% of the first serves, to win, 6-2, 7-5.
In the semifinals, Schwartzman faces Denis Shapovalov (14th) who, at 21, is the third youngest tennis player to win 100 matches on the ATP Tour – behind Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas – after beating Grigor Dimitrov (22 .º), by 6-2, 3-6 and 6-2.
Djokovic has not lost a quarter-final in Rome since 2013, but he had to apply to a rookie of this stage of the Masters 1000 tournament, Dominik Koepfer (97th), to win with the partial 6-3, 4-6 and 6-3.
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The world’s number one opponent in the semi-final is Christian Ruud (34th), the first Norwegian tennis player to reach the semi-finals of a Masters 1000 tournament, after eliminating the last Italian in the competition, Matteo Berrettini (8th), 4-6, 6-3 and 7-6 (7/5).
Among the women, with three top-10s still in the race, Simona Halep (2nd) will discuss a place in the final with Garbiñe Muguruza (17th), who, in a duel between former leaders of the world ranking, dismissed Victoria Azarenka (14th), by 3-6, 6-3 and 6-4. In the other semi-final, Karolina Pliskova (4th), who defends the title, has for opponent Marketa Vondrousova (19th).
During the ATP 500 in Hamburg, João Sousa (74th) lost in the first round of qualifying, against Tommy Paul (59th), 6-1, 6-3.