Rome – Rafael Nadal brushed aside the challenge of Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov with a 6-4, 6-1 victory to reach the Italian Open quarter-finals on Thursday.
The 31-year-old will face Italian Fabio Fognini in the last eight as he looks to retake the world number one ranking from Roger Federer by winning an eighth Rome title this week.
Nadal has already won his 11th titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona during the current clay-court season, but has lost in the quarter-finals in each of the last three years in Italy.
He was far too strong for Shapovalov, taking the opening set with a break in the seventh game before racing through the second to gain a measure of revenge for his shock defeat by the 19-year-old in Montreal last year.
Results from the ATP and WTA Masters tournament in Rome on Thursday (x denotes seeded player):
Simona Halep (ROM x1) bt Madison Keys (USA x13) — walkover
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT x5) bt Johanna Konta (GBR) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
Elina Svitolina (UKR x4) bt Daria Kasatkina (RUS x14) 0-6, 6-3, 6-2
Angelique Kerber (GER x11) bt Maria Sakkari (GRE) 6-1, 6-1
Anett Kontaveit (EST) bt Venus Williams (USA x8) 6-2, 7-6 (7/3)
Fabio Fognini (ITA) bt Peter Gojowczyk (GER) 6-4, 6-4
Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP x10) bt Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2
David Goffin (BEL x9) bt Juan Martin del Potro (ARG x5) 6-2, 4-5 — retired