(AFP) – Rafael Nadal lost just two games in two matches before booking his place in the quarter-finals of the Italian Open on Thursday.
The eight-time Rome champion beat Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 6-0 in the third round after earlier crushing France’s Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 6-1 in the second round, playing two matches after Wednesday’s rain washout in Rome.
Playing two matches is a very dangerous day. I was able to manage it well. I played well, especially I think better in the afternoon than the morning. Yeah, I’m happy about that level in the afternoon.
The defending champion next plays fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco who defeated 11th-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.
Rafa on playing Fer:
He’s always tough. He is a great player. He’s a very dangerous player for everybody when he’s playing well. He’s having a great tennis career.
Rafa is bidding for his first clay-court title this season before chasing a 12th French Open crown at Roland Garros starting on May 26.