Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal reach third round at Italian Open

  • Posted: May 16, 2019

Roger Federer marked his Italian Open return with victory against Portugal’s Joao Sousa, as eight-time champion Rafael Nadal also progressed in Rome.

Making his first appearance since 2016, four-time finalist Federer, 37, defeated Sousa 6-4 6-3 in one hour and 21 minutes to reach the third round.

Defending champion Nadal, 32, took one hour and eight minutes to beat France’s Jeremy Chardy 6-0 6-1.

Federer plays Borna Coric next, while Nadal faces Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Both matches will be played later on Thursday after rain washed out Wednesday’s play.

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Barcelona Open champion and Madrid Open semi-finalist Dominic Thiem lost in the second round to Spain’s world number 38 Fernando Verdasco.

Thiem took the first set but Verdasco broke the world number four’s serve at 5-5 in the third to win 4-6 6-4 7-5 in two hours and 46 minutes.

Ninth seed Marin Cilic is also out after Germany’s world number 51 Jan-Lennard Struff claimed a 6-2 6-3 victory against the Croat.

Struff’s third-round opponent is Kei Nishikori, after Japan’s world number six defeated American Taylor Fritz 6-2 6-4.

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