Sinner sets up Nadal clash in Rome

Published May 12, 2021
ROME: Poland’s Magda Linette serves to Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic during their first-round match of the Italian Open at Foro Italico.—AFP
ROME: Poland’s Magda Linette serves to Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic during their first-round match of the Italian Open at Foro Italico.—AFP

ROME: Jannik Sinner booked a second-round showdown with nine-time champion Rafael Nadal at the Italian Open after a 6-2, 6-4 win over Frenchman Ugo Humbert on Monday.

The Italian teenager will face the 20-time Grand Slam winner for the second time, having impressed against Nadal in last year’s French Open quarter-finals despite losing in straight sets.

Nadal has a 9-2 record on clay this season but was beaten in the last eight at both previous Masters events, in Monte Carlo and Madrid.

Aslan Karatsev matched Sinner with his 20th win of the season. The Russian beat Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 in the opening round. Only Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev have won more ATP matches this year (27).

Australian Open semi-finalist Karatsev will play compatriot and Melbourne runner-up Daniil Medvedev for a place in the last 16. Medvedev, who had a first-round bye, is chasing a first win in Rome in his third appearance at the tournament.

Taylor Fritz awaits defending champion Novak Djokovic in round two after the American brushed aside Dan Evans 6-3, 6-2. Djokovic and Nadal have accounted for 14 of the past 16 titles at the Foro Italico.

Lorenzo Musetti, who shocked Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori last year as a qualifier in Rome, advanced when Miami Open winner Hubert Hurkacz retired due to injury while trailing 6-4, 2-0.

Nishikori overcame Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4 in a meeting of former top-10 players, with Marin Cilic seeing off Alexander Bublik in three sets.

Benoit Paire took out his cell phone to take a picture of a disputed mark on the clay while losing to Italian wild card Stefano Travaglia 6-4, 6-3. Paire said he “wasn’t feeling 100%” after receiving a coronavirus vaccination shot two days earlier.

Reigning French Open women’s champion Iga Swiatek progressed when Alison Riske retired with a foot problem in the first set, while Coco Gauff outlasted Yulia Putintseva 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.

Petra Kvitova recovered from a dreadful start to overhaul Magda Linette of Poland 1-6, 6-0, 6-2 while Ama­nda Anisimoa also won.

Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2021

Opinion

Modi’s movies
Updated 16 Jun 2021

Modi’s movies

Fascists seek to control cultural production in a country in order to realise the complete and centralised control of power.
Bye bye Bibi?
16 Jun 2021

Bye bye Bibi?

Netanyahu’s ouster doesn’t really spell change.
Debating the budget
Updated 15 Jun 2021

Debating the budget

Parties, too, have grown, it seems, and are being compelled to think about their problematic economic policies.

Editorial

Centre-Sindh tension
Updated 16 Jun 2021

Centre-Sindh tension

Such an adversarial state of affairs is not sustainable without damaging the working of the federation.
16 Jun 2021

Punjab budget

PUNJAB is where the battle for power will be fought in 2023. Punjab is also where PTI parliamentarians are perhaps...
16 Jun 2021

Haj decision for women

WHILE this year’s Haj will again be marked by a limited number of pilgrims, the Saudi government’s decision to...
15 Jun 2021

Middle East’s plight

THE Middle East is geopolitically and economically perhaps the most important region of the world, home to much of...
Thoughtless eviction
Updated 15 Jun 2021

Thoughtless eviction

Promised compensation of Rs20,000 per month for two years is hardly worth the adversity evicted residents have to undergo.
15 Jun 2021

Cinema ‘industry’?

THE vast gap that often exists between the state’s intentions and its actual efficiency was evident in the third...