Rafael Nadal reacts to getting back to winning ways in Rome

ATP Rome- Schedule Nadal Fognini headlines amazing Friday

The Spaniard has to win in Rome in order to get the number 1 ranking back from Roger Federer after the Swissman managed to get on top of the charts following Nadal's loss in Madrid.

Shapovalov, who will face Nadal on Thursday, finished with seven aces and converted three of 11 break-point opportunities in a match that lasted two hours 26 minutes. The Canadian defeated the Spaniard at the Rogers Cup in Montreal past year, he is coming from two tough matches against Tomas Berdych and Robin Haase, but he could cause some issues to Nadal.

"Isner is in great shape, but Ramos is always a tricky guy to play against on slow clay", said Djokovic, who is 5-0 against Ramos-Vinolas in tour matches without dropping a set.

Four-time champion Novak Djokovic also advanced, beating Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-2.

"We're finally connecting and I think that's the most handsome thing", Fognini said of the crowd, which whistled him off the court following an erratic performance a few years ago.

Defending champion Alexander Zverev beat Italian wild-card entry Matteo Berrettini 7-5, 6-2.

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Japan's Kei Nishikori denied Grigor Dimitrov a 27th birthday win to progress to the third round, rallying back from a set down to beat the world number four 6-7 (4) 7-5 6-4. "They finally understand me".

"But I think in Rome it's a little bit different".

"It was very important I went in with a positive attitude, with an attitude to win".

Venus Williams, who won the Rome title back in 1999 and is bidding for her 50th career title this week, got her first win on clay this season.

"She knew it and we were having a lot of backhand rallies, other than that I couldn't say what happened."I feel like I've played her the most of any player, this was the third time this year". In the middle of the sixth game the Chair Umpire over-ruled a call after inspecting the point where the ball landed.

Also, U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens held off a comeback from Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi in a 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 victory; seventh-seeded Caroline Garcia defeated Timea Babos 6-3, 6-4; and 14th-seeded Daria Kasatkina eliminated American qualifier Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-3.

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