Nadal maintains winning ways in Rome

Published by AP

Rafael Nadal has now gone 16 matches unbeaten on clay. Photo: Getty Images
Rafael Nadal extended his win streak to 16 matches when Nicolas Almagro was forced to retire during their second round match.

Rafael Nadal hardly had to get his socks dirty to extend his winning streak to 16 matches.

Back to being the best player on tour over the last month, Nadal advanced from his opening match at the Italian Open on Wednesday when Nicolas Almagro retired in the first set with an apparent injury.

Nadal was leading 3-0, 15-30 when Almagro bent over toward the red clay court and grasped his left knee.

Nadal went over to Almagro’s side of the net to ask what was wrong and consoled his countryman.

Almagro then got some medical attention at his chair but quickly retired from the second-round match.

“It’s difficult to see what’s going on now just after what happened,” Nadal said. “He felt something on the knee.”

The fourth-ranked Nadal remained on court for a practice session.

Nadal has won consecutive clay-court tournaments in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid. He’s aiming for an eighth title at the Foro Italico as he prepares for the French Open, which starts in less than two weeks.

Nadal will next face 13th-seeded Jack Sock, who beat Jiri Vesely 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-1) after more than two-and-a-half hours.

Olympic silver medallist Juan Martin del Potro defeated British player Kyle Edmund 7-5 6-4, fifth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic defeated German veteran Tommy Haas 6-4 6-3.

Russia’s Alexander Zverev beat Viktor Troicki 6-3 6-4 and will next face Andy Murray-slayer Fabio Fognini.

“The stadium will be very loud for him. I’m very sure about that,” Zverev said of Fognini. “It’s going to be a fun day, a fun atmosphere and great match.”

Elsewhere, seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori beat David Ferrer 7-5 6-2 and will next face del Potro.

Nishikori showed no lingering pain from the right wrist injury that prompted him to withdraw from the quarterfinals in Madrid last week.

“My wrist is OK now. I assume to be 100 per cent now,” Nishikori said.

Share this: 
  • Most popular articles

18 November 2017

ATP Finals: Goffin completes semifinal line-up

David Goffin has earned a shot at Roger Federer after completing the semifinal line-up at ... More

17 November 2017

Sascha’s incredible season ends on a sour note

Alexander Zverev is 20 years old. Here's what he did in 2017: peaked at world No.3 won 5... More

18 November 2017

Serena Williams gets married

It is official - Australian Open champion Serena Williams is married.The tennis superstar ... More

19 November 2017

Time for holiday, then it’s all AO says Federer

Roger Federer is already plotting another Australian Open assault after his spectacular se... More