ROME – Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal rescued two match points to defeat Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in a three-set battle and advance to the quarter-finals of the Italian Open on Thursday (May 13).
The second seed advanced 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) after nearly 3hr 30min on court against his 13th-seeded opponent.
The Spanish world No. 3 was trailing by a set and 0-3 down in the second set before powering back.
Shapovalov also broke for 3-1 in the third set but Nadal broke back immediately and held on despite two match points against him in the 12th game to force a tie-break.
The 34-year-old veteran reached his 16th last-eight appearance in Rome and a 97th ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final.
He will next play either Germany’s Alexander Zverev, the sixth seed, or Japan’s Kei Nishikori for a place in the semi-finals.
Nadal, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, lost to Zverev in the Madrid Masters quarter-finals last week.