22:47 – The last match of the day on “Centrale” is about to begin: Paula Badosa vs. Daria Kasatkina.
“It’s my foot again. I felt a lot of pain”Rafa Nadal in press conference
22:36 – Two Match Point Shapovalov! With a big forehand the Spanish cancels the first. Denis misses in return. It’s not over yet. Third Match Point, Rafa’s backhand is OUT. DENIS WINS!!!!! Nadal is sportingly congratulated Denis, who receives the well-deserved applause from the crowd. 1-6 7-5 6-2 the score of a match that, after the initial domination of Nadal, is turned unexpectedly.
22:27 – Rafa in serious trouble, another error, 0-40 !!!! Three break points for the Canadian. Rafa hits a backhand out by meters, totally unloaded with his legs. BREAK SHAPOVALOV, 4-2 and service ahead.
22:24 – INJURY? Nadal leans on the sidelines after a big forehand from Denis. The Canadian wins the game, 3-2 ahead. Returning to the bench at change court, Rafa seems to be limping slightly. The Physical issue in progress? …….
21:58 – 7-5 Shapovalov! Unbelievable on “Centrale”. Nadal breaks back, serving 5-4 Shapovalov has a set point, but Rafa is perfect and saves it. On 6-5 Rafa seems tense, maybe something is not working in body, probably his foot. He takes the ball back before serving, starts his whole routine all over again … Double Foul! Set Point # 2 for Shapovalov. Rafa smashes out from the baseline, SET SHAPOOOOOOOOOOO. A well-deserved set, ahead 4-1. 16 winners and 15 errors, for Denis, big turnaround in the match.
21:18 – There is a match on “Centrale” now. Nadal lost a service game with a couple of bad unforced, Shapovalov was reactive in serving well and running away 4-1. Good moment for Denis with his forehand, powerful and accurate.
20:58 – Game Set Match Sakkari! 7-5 in the second, Jabeur easily won against Putintseva, 6-3 6-2 the score. Some quality tennis by Ons, Yulia can’t do anything to stop her.
20:43 – 6-1 Nadal. Must be particularly frustrating for Shapovalov, who hunted high and low but Rafa stays too strong for him. 42 minutes, too much consistent Nadal. Only 3 mistakes for Rafa, 17 for Shapovalov, forced in the desperate search of winners. 25% points won with second serve for Shapovalov. A Tsunami …
20:27 – BREAK RRRRRRAFA! 3-1 Nadal, who dominates from the baseline. 14 points to 4 when the point turn to rally, numbers that underline the strength of Rafa.
20:17 – Sakkari leads 3-2 on Gauff in the second set. With her heavy forehand loaded by top spin the Greek dominates from the baseline and moves Gauff. The American relies on her backhand down the line.
19:57 – The big match Nadal – Shapovalov ready to start. The 10-time IBI champion to serve. Let’s go!
19:16 – Ruud serves 5-4 to close the match against Brooksby. 1st serve and big forehand, the Norwegian’s “mantra”, his way to led the rally. Hard as rock, the tactics to win the Match Point. Ruud didn’t face a single break point in the second set. 6-3 6-4 the final score, he is in the quarterfinals, waiting the winner of Nadal – Shapovalov.
18:50 – 6-2, 6-2. The final score for Djokovic, the n.1 won in style. Wawrinka pushes as hard as he could, but was still far behind in condition, given the recent return to the tour after many physical problems, and the tough match won yesterday too. 23 errors for Stan, forced to run and defense constantly in the rally. Djokovic finds Auger-Aliassime in quarters. It will be a match not to be missed given Felix’s excellent shape shown in the tournament.
18:30 – RUUD! Casper closes the first set 6-3 against Brooskby, the break in the sixth game is decisive. The Norwegian serve is solid as a rock, he concedes break points only in the last game, but saves them and secures the set.
18:16 – First game of the second set, Wawrinka enhances the crowds with a beautiful drop shot, but Djokovic leads the rallies. The Serbian has a break point and takes it with the usual, incredible coolness. BREAK Djokovic, 1-0 and serve. 43 minutes, the match already seems to be directed to “Nole”.
18:06 – 30 minutes, the time it takes for Djokovic to win the first set 6-2 over Wawrinka. Too good “Nole”, immediately ahead and safe until securing the Set point. 80% of first serve in, but no numbers are needed to explain the dominance of # 1 so far.
17:54 – Cilic comeback Garin, wins the second set 6-4 and with a break is ahead 2-1 in the third.
17:47 – Djokovic starts strong: the n.1 raced into a 2-0 lead, forcing Wawrinka to run. Stan wins his second serving game, 2-1 the score. It could be a “complicated” comeback for the Swiss …
17:19 – Garin leads Cilic 6-3 4-3; That was SOME performance from Anisimova: with a double 6-2 stuns Collins in the US derby.
17:15 – The ball flies down the line and lands… IN! GAME SET MATCH SINNER !!!! The Italian win the breaker 8 points to 6, 6-2 7-6 the final score (1 hour and 40 minutes). Bravo Sinner to cling to his serve in some decisive moments, like as the back-to-back Ace in the tiebreak. 29 winning points and 26 errors for Jannik. Next… Tsitsipas!
17:03 – Sinner – Krajinovic goes decider. Sinner wastes the opening break with a poor game on serve at 2-1.
16:34 – Garin secures the first set 6-3 against Cilic. Anisimova in control: she leads 4-1 vs. Collins, big forehands and backhands from the centre of the court for Amanda.
16:14 – Terrible start of the 2nd for Krajinovic. With two double faults fall down a breaks at the beginning of the second set.
16:08 – SET Sinner, 6-2 in 34 minutes. 15 winners and 6 errors, best photo of a very high quality and solid set for the Italian. 81% points won with the first ball in. Big set for Jannik.
16:00 – Game Set Match Auger-Aliassime. 6-3 6-2 for Felix, too good today for Giron. Just a moment of distraction in the fourth game, loses his service game but breaks back immediately. The Canadian takes rhythm on his serve and closes with 30 winners. He flies to quarter-finals, next Djokovic?
15:43 – Early break for Sinner, 2-1 and service. With a splendid forehand inside out, just on the corner, Jannik takes the lead.
15:19 – FELIX !!! 6-3 for the Canadian on Giron in the 1st. The break in the eighth game was decisive for Auger-Aliassime. Excellent level of play for FAA, with 16 winners (just 3 for the American). Felix closes the set with Ace, serve is becoming the main focus on his game. Good tennis and show on Pietrangeli.
15:15 – It’s over! Swiatek easily closes on Azarenka, 6-1. Secured the first, Iga took off. In 34 minutes she won the second, conducted in style. These numbers are incredible: 98 points played in Swiatek service game; 47 for Azarenka! Iga vs. Andreescu in the quarters, a very interesting match …
14:40 – With another BREAK, Swiatek closes the 1st 6-4. A fierce fighting, long set rich of moments of great tennis, in the midst of many mistakes. Swiatek can’t find her best rhythm, but shines in return in the key points.
14:28 – Tsitsipas flies on the MATCH POINT and closes the match with a stunning high volley. 6-3 on 3rd. Perfect serve for the talented Greek, what a comeback. How on earth Stef raises his level. Remarkable. +10 between winners and errors (25/15), evidence of the great quality expressed today by the Monte Carlo champion. Tsitsipas in quarters.
14:05 – EIGHT games in a row for Tsitsipas, takes the lead 2-0 with a break also in the second set. Brutal control of the game for Stefanos, he tries shot and… it works!
13:57 – BAGEL TIME! 6-0 Tsitsipas dominates the 2nd, Khachanov annihilated. Karen is forced behind the baseline, right and left, at the mercy of the aggressive game of the Greek. Only 3 mistakes for Stefanos, 9 for Karen. 38% of firsts in for Khachanov, terrible. We go third.
13:46 – Tsitsipas ON FIRE! 4-0 with DOUBLE BREAK Stefanos, who dominate from the baseline with his forehand, pushing Khachanov to run and miss. So fast Tsitsipas to make two steps forward and close from three quarters. 1 hour and 7 minutes so far.
13:37 – Bad start for Swiatek … 0-2 and with 11 mistakes so far. Andreescu ahead 2-1 with a break in the second.
13:24 – 6-4 Khachanov! Karen closes the first set, decisive the break in the ninth game, on 4 all, with Stefanos’ double foul. 52% of first balls in for Stefanos, poor percentage …
13:10 – Teichmann wins the second set 6-3, we are 1 set all with Rybakina.
13:03 – Tsitsipas – Khachanov has begun on Grand Stand Arena. Hell of a start for Karen, who breaks the Greek at the opening game at 30-40. Tsitsipas breaks back in the sixth game, 3 all the score right now.
13:00 – Zverev leads 5 point to 4, on serve. Misses an easy forehand Zverev, we go 5 all! De Minaur tries to leads the rally with some back on backhand, but hits wide the last one. Match Point Zverev! Sasha closes with a PERFECT drop shot, wonderful shot! 6-3 7-6 the final score. The German lands into quarters.
12:50 – Zverev serves for the match but plays a disastrous game! Only errors, including a very bad drop shot attempt. De Minaur breaks back, it’s tiebreak time!
12:37 – Tsitsipas and Khachanov are going to enter the Grand Stand Arena, one of the most anticipated matches of the day.
12:20 – Break and counter break on Centrale. Zverev takes off in 3rd game, terrific effort with forehand, but De Minaur breaks back at 3-2, terrible double fault for Zverev. 3 all the score.
12:15 – Aryna wins!!! 6-4 in the second, this is the first match of the day to end. Too powerful with her forehand and so aggressive in return Sabalenka, despite a too many mistakes secures a good win. Pegula falls on double fault on match point, first serve did not assist her enough today.
12:05 – Sabalenka takes the lead in the 2nd too. Aryna breaks Pegula’s service game to zero at 3-2 and serve smooth like silk. 5-2 ahead Sabalenka, one step away from victory.
11:53 – 6-3 Zverev. Excellent serve, powerful forehand, the German secured the first set. 11 winners, just 4 for De Minaur. 83% of first balls IN for Sasha, with these numbers on serve, facing Zverev is a nightmare …
11:41 – 18 points game on “Centrale” and counting! Incredible sixth game, Zverev seeks a double break in return, De Minaur tries to resist but is in serious trouble. Alexander fires a terrific forehand cross court, 5-1. 11 minutes 54 seconds length of the game!
11:34 – Aryna loses a service game but… it’s just a moment, the set does’t turn. Sabalenka wins 4 points in return and secures 6-1 the first. Rybakina ahead 3-2 over Teichmann with the break.
11:19 – Sabalenka unstoppable! Aryna had raced into a 5-0 lead on Pegula. Just like yesterday morning, Sabalenka starts off with momentum. What a powerful tennis…
11:15 – Off to a hot start for Zverev! BREAK De Minaur in the 2nd game → 2-0. Ace to close the third game, 3-0 the score for Sasha.
10:30 – GOOD MORNING FROM ROME !!! Ready for another extraordinary day of tennis? The daily schedule starts at 11 am with a superb match on “Centrale”: Alexander Zverev vs. Alex De Minaur. Following the WTA n.1 and reigning IBI champion Iga Swiatek vs. Victoria Azarenka. Excellent “appetizers” before the “match of the day” for Italian fans, Jannik Sinner against Filip Krajinovic. More to come: Novak Djokovic against Stan Wawrinka, a fascinating match that was IBI final in 2008. The evening schedule is really interesting: Rafael Nadal against Denis Shapovalov (last year was one of the best match of the tournament), followed by Badosa – Kasatkina. All this on the Centrale, but the program offers great matches on other courts too! Tsitsipas – Khachanov on the Grand Stand Arena, such as Gauff – Sakkari and Ruud – Brooksby are not to be missed. Let’s live this day together!