The men’s tournament is in full swing at the Italian Open and day five saw the round-of-16 for the entire men’s side. For the top seeds, it was business as usual.
Stefanos Tsitsipas-Karen Khachanov
Karen Khachanov was coming off a very good win over Pablo Carreno-Busta in the previous round. Khachanov is one of the guys that when he is on, he is very good. After the win over PCB, he appeared to be locked in.
The match started out well for the Russian, who broke Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first game of the match. Tsitsipas would eventually break back to get back on serve but it was Khachanov who would break again at 4-4. Khachanov would hold serve and take the first set, 6-4.
Tsitsipas wouldn’t stay down for long. The second set started with Stef holding serve and breaking the Russian to take the early advantage in the 2nd set. Tsitsipas would keep his foot on the gas and rollover Khachanov, 6-0.
The third set began much like the second set. Stefanos would win the first three games in quick succession to take the early lead in the deciding set. Khachanov would work his way back into the set but was unable to get the break back to level the set. Tsitsipas would take the final set 6-3, securing his spot in the quarter-finals.
Novak Djokovic-Stanilas Wawrinka
Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka have a long and storied history that dates back to the mid-aughts. Some legendary matches as well, like the 2015 French Open Final. This would be the 26th meeting of the two legends.
Unfortunately, for Wawrinka, Djokovic is still playing at a much higher level and have different career goals at this point of their career. It is a huge victory for Wawrinka to put back-to-back wins here in Rome, while Djokovic is looking to win the title and clinch the number one world ranking going into Roland Garros.
Today, that chasm in their careers showed. Djokovic never looked to be pushed or out of control. He glided around the court, placing the ball where he needed it to go. Djokovic continues to look sharper and better with every outing. Djokovic took the match over Wawrinka, 6-2 6-2.
Rafael Nadal-Denis Shapovalov
Rafael Nadal is working his way back into match fitness with the Roland Garros looming. Nadal looked really solid in his first match in Rome when he took out John Isner with ease. His opponent, Denis Shapovalov, has strung together two wins here in Rome as well. This match looked to be a very good one.
It was just a year ago, here in Rome, where Shapo pushed Nadal to three sets before losing in a third-set tie-break. Also, this year in Melbourne, Shapovalov pushed Nadal to five sets before Nadal overcame Shapo to take the match. Shapo loves these big matches and usually steps up for these, especially when Nadal is involved.
The match started out and it looked like it was going to be all Rafael Nadal. Shapovalov was broken twice in the first set, losing 6-1.
In the second set, Nadal wasted no time and had multiple break points on Shapo’s serve. Shapo would save those and break Nadal in the next game to take a quick lead in the 2nd set. Nadal would fight back and get the second set back on even ground. Shapo wouldn’t waste much time though and broke Nadal at 6-5 to make the second set, 7-5.
Going into the third set, Shapovalov had all the momentum. Nadal held steady for a short time but would eventually falter on serve, giving Shapo the advantage. Nadal looked a little weary physically and Shapo took full advantage, taking the deciding set, 6-2.
- Alexander Zverev takes out Alex de Minaur in two sets.
- Felix Auger-Aliassime beats Marcos Giron in two sets.
- Jannik Sinner bests Filip Krajinovic in front of a loud Roman crowd.
- Casper Ruud dispatches Jenson Brooksby
- Christian Garin outlasts Maric Cilic in a thrilling three-setter.