Djokovic, Federer, Nadal through, Thiem out of Rome Open

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Roger Federer/ AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer reached the third round of the Rome Open yesterday with straight set victories, but they had to play a second match in the day because of the two-day delay caused by rain in Rome.

Djokovic defeated Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, 6/1, 6/3 and will face Germany’s Phillip Kohlschreiber in the third round. Nadal won nine consecutive games in claiming the first set 6-0 and leading 3-0 in the second against Jeremy Chardy, who registered on the score board in the fourth game.

Nadal continued the onslaught by holding serve for a 4-1 lead. Chardy took the first two points in the sixth game, but faced a break point at 30-40 from which he did not recover. Nadal dropped only one point on his serve to win the set 6-1.

In the third round, Nadal will play his second match of the day against Nikoloz Basilashvilli of Georgia.

Federer was all business as he secured a break in each set to defeat Portugal’s Jaoa Souza 6/4, 6/3. It was their second career meeting since the 2014 Halle Grass-courts event that Federer won6/7, 6/4; 6/2. In his second match of the day, Federer lost the first set to Croatia’s Borna Coric, 6-2 but took the second set 6/4. In the third set tiebreak, Federer saved two match points at 4-6 and won the game by nine points to seven for the match.

Dominic Thiem, the fifth seed, broke Verdasco’s serve in the second game and held to lead 3-0. The Austrian raced to 4-1 but Fernando Verdasco took the sixth game. In the seventh game, Thiem was down 30-40 but leveled to deuce before losing the game on a third break point.

Verdasco leveled four-all but lost his serve to lose the set 6/4. Each player held serve in the second set until Verdasco broke Thiem’s serve for the seventh game.

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