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The top three seeds in the men’s event all successfully negotiated multiple matches on Thursday to progress to the quarter-finals at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
Rafael Nadal was the most impressive of them all, dropping only two games across two matches and spending just a total of two hours nine minutes on court as he steamrolled past Jeremy Chardy and No. 14 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili.
“Has been a very positive day for me. Of course, yeah, was a day that playing two matches is very dangerous day. I was able to manage it well. I played well, especially I think in the afternoon better than the morning,” said Nadal.
Four-time champion Djokovic was also in dominant form as he booked his place in the last eight for the 13th consecutive year. The Serbian top seed opened his campaign with a 6-1 6-3 victory over rising star Denis Shapovalov before easing past Philipp Kohlschreiber for the loss of just three games.
Djokovic’s opponent in the quarter-finals will be No. 7 seed Juan Martin del Potro who prevailed in straight sets against David Goffin and qualifier Casper Ruud.
Federer saved three match points as he edged his third round match against No. 13 seed Borna Coric 2-6 6-4 7-6(7). The Croatian pushed the 20-time Grand Slam champion all the way in a match that was full of drama but it was the Swiss player who held his nerve at the end to secure the win.
Next up for the Swiss will be the in-form Stefanos Tsitsipas, who took out two Italians on his way to a place in the quarter-finals. The Greek player ended the hopes of 17-year-old Jannik Sinner in his second round match before disappointing a packed Court Pietrangeli when he ran out a 6-4 6-3 victor over Monte Carlo champion Fabio Fognini in the third round.
There were also victories for No. 6 seed Kei Nishikori, who conquered qualifier Taylor Fritz and Jan-Lennard Struff, Diego Schwartzman, who was a straight sets winner over qualifier Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Italian wild card Matteo Berrettini, and Fernando Verdasco, who upset No. 5 seed Dominic Thiem and No. 11 seed Karen Khachanov.