Nadal gets revenge on Shapovalov in Rome

Andrew Dampf

Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal has methodically worn down Denis Shapovalov in a 6-4 6-1 win to reach the Italian Open quarter-finals and gain a measure of revenge against the Canadian.

The Israel-born teenager saved eight break points in his opening two service games before finally dropping his serve midway through the first set on Thursday.

"He was really serving big and I had some mistakes with the return," Nadal said. "It was not a comfortable match against a lefty who serves big and goes for his shots.

"He's good in all aspects. The only thing he needs is a little bit more time."

Shapovalov, who is ranked a career-high No.29 this week, stunned Nadal in the third round in Montreal last year to deny the Spaniard a chance at regaining the No.1 ranking.

He has another chance to regain the top spot this week and will replace Roger Federer at No.1 if he wins an eighth Rome title.

Nadal, who hasn't won the Italian Open since 2013, will next face Fabio Fognini, who beat Peter Gojowczyk 6-4 6-4 to reach his first quarterfinal in 11 appearances at his home tournament.

Novak Djokovic progressed with a 6-1 7-5 victory over Albert Ramos-Vinolas to face Japan's Kei Nishikori, who dismissed German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-1 6-2.

Fourth seed Marin Cilic accounted for Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-3 6-4 while British No.1 Kyle Edmund was valiant in defeat to second seed Alexander Zverev, falling 7-5 7-6 (13-11).

Edmund next faces ninth seed David Goffin, who was leading 6-2 4-5 when Juan Martin del Potro retired because of a groin injury.

Cilic faces 10th seed Pablo Carreno Busta, who beat Aljaz Bedene 6-4 6-7 (7-3) 6-2.