Nadal, Djokovic reach Italian Open quarter-finals, Murray crashes out

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have both reached the quarterfinals of the Italian Open after winning thier respective ties on Thursday.

It was not same story for Andy Murray, who crashed out in the double alongside Liam Broady in the second round.

The Britons lost 6-3 6-4 to Germany’s Kevin Krawietz and Romania’s Horia Tecau, the eighth seeds.

For Nadal, saved two match points to overcome a huge test from Denis Shapovalov in a singles match.

The Spaniard was a set and a break down but outlasted his Canadian opponent to win 3-6 6-4 7-6 (7-3) in a near three-and-a-half-hour battle.

Nadal, known as the king of clay, is chasing a 10th title in Rome. He is two victories away from clinching the title.

In another encounter on Thursday, Djokovic also reached his 15th Rome quarter-final in a row after beating Spanish qualifier Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-1.

The world number one and defending champion dropped his opening serve but recovered immediately to cruise past his opponent.

Meanwhile, fans have returned to tennis. The games have been largely played behind closed doors since the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking after his match, Djokovic said it was nice to see the return of fans on the courts.

“It was not good, it was great. I missed the crowd. It was nice to see them back,” the five-time champion said.

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