Rafael Nadal, ranked No. 3 in the world, fended off a challenge from 19-year-old Jannik Sinner on Wednesday to advance to the next round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.
The 34-year-old Nadal earned the 7-5, 6-4 win over Sinner, who has emerged as a rising star and reached his first ATP Masters 1000 final recently at the Miami Open. Nadal needed two hours and 10 minutes to move on to face 13th-seeded Denis Shapovalov of Canada in the third round.
Shapovalov topped wild card Stefano Travaglia of Italy, 7-6(2), 6-3 in an hour and 35 minutes. This will be Shapovalov's fourth career match against Nadal, who holds a 2-1 advantage in the first three meetings.
In other action, fourth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria edged Marton Fucsovics of Hungary 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-0 in a match that required two hours and 33 minutes.
"It was such a close match, especially in the second set," Thiem said. "I knew he'd be a super-tough opponent, particularly coming from different conditions in Madrid. I was fighting all the match and stayed in there. At the end, I got the reward for fighting. I had difficulties with my timing and my serve. I have to hurt my opponent more with my shots. I still won a great match and I will try to improve for (Thursday)."
Italian Lorenzo Sonego awaits Thiem in the next round after knocking off wild card Gianluca Mager of Italy 6-4, 6-4 in 87 minutes.
Aslan Karatsev of Russia upset third-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia by a margin of 6-2, 6-4 in one hour and 18 minutes. His next match will be against Reilly Opelka of the U.S.
"I'm super happy," Karatsev said. "It was a really tough match. Against Medvedev you never know, he's a big server. It's tough to return, but I managed it well."
In other action, fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece won in straight sets over Croatia's Marin Cilic; No. 6 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany won in straight sets; seventh-seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia rallied to defeat German Jan-Lennard Struff; No. 9 Matteo Berrettini of Italy won in straight sets over Australian John Millman; and 10th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain won in straight sets.
Qualifier Federico Delbonis of Argentina defeated No. 12 David Goffin of Germany 6-2, 6-1.
--Field Level Media