Rafael Nadal advances to Italian Open 3rd round, setting up match against Denis Shapovalov

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal defeated training partner Jannik SInner 7-5, 6-4 in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Wednesday.

Local hope Sinner pushed Rafa by claiming early breaks in both sets but our champ hit back to win in two hours and 10 minutes.

Rafa will face 13th seed Denis Shapovalov in round three after the Canadian’s 7-6 6-3 victory over Italian wildcard Stefano Travaglia.

After the match, Rafa said:

“I hit some very good forehands, cross-courts too to avoid his great backhand cross, and then he has a great change down the line, no? So I think I did that well. Is not a surprise for me. No, I know how good he is and the shots he has. He has great shots when he’s running. He has always great comebacks from tough positions, no? So, yeah, I know that. I was on the court with big respect for him and very focused every single moment. That’s why I am here with a victory.”

The tie finished at 9.40pm local time in Rome and Rafa will return to play his next match at 1pm on Thursday.


  1. Phew! Escape to victory! That wasn’t good for my heart. Not a pretty match, but so glad Rafa lives to fight another day!

    • 🤣🤣😂…. another gut-wrenching heart-pumping Rafa win! Talk about the miles on Rafa’s body…he has put plenty of miles on my heart! I just wait until Rafa starts winning now before I really sit down and watch the match.It’s much easier on my nerves! Shapo is my favorite next-gen. He he’s so good plus he has charisma…which Sinner is lacking. Notice the difference in handshakes! Sinner has no respect … He just played one of the greatest tennis players of all time and he brushed him off like that! He isn’t going to have much of a fan base with an attitude like that! That’s just my opinion! Happy Day for all of us! 💜💜Rafa!

      • Completely agree, that was exactly my thinking when I saw the handshake. Horrible

  2. Phewwwww
    Congratulations Rafa finally
    Don’t think rafa has ever faced that much match points in a single clay season
    Relieved 😅😅😅

  3. Omg! I turned off the tv when Rafa lost his serve in the 2nd. Now holding my breath and praying!

  4. Oh wait, what’s this I see here? A Rafa fightback!!!

    Come on Champ!!

    Honestly at this point, I am satisfied just to see that fighting spirit from Rafa, win or lose. The spark is there!

    Now can we translate this into a Win Rafa?? Protect your serve champ!

  5. Rafa forgot his lunch at home today… Shapo has all the answers and our King of Clay looks to just be hanging on.

    It’s very unusual to see Rafa fight so much just to hang on to his service games… only to get broken at will seemingly:(

  6. Shapovalov is bouncing around with so much energy and confidence. His lefty swings are doing the damage. He’s definitely taking it to Rafa and our champ has to work oh so hard. to earn a point Not sure how much more I can stabd.

    • I helps to turn the sound off. It hurts me to see Rafa work so hard for every point. There’s still time. Vamos Rafa

  7. Shapovalov seems to be in the attack right from the start. Saw very little of the first but it seems that Rafa is out of sorts – apart from poor serves wrong shot choices.

    Hope he can change that soon cos shapovalov is brimming with confidence.

    VAMOS Rafa!!!!! Cmon

  8. Looks like we all saw the same thing at the end of the match… I chalk it up to Sinner’s immaturity… At 19 years old, in front of his hometown, I believe he let is disappointment take over is sportsmanship and that needs to be corrected.

    Sinner gave Rafa a good run but at the end of the day we are talking Rafa here and these boys better remember that…….. And although I give credit to Sinner for keeping it close, it’s Rafa who pulled it out, pulled ahead and ended it in straight sets, just like we wanted! 🙂

    Good luck today against Shap… You got this!!


  9. Great match and both players contributed so much. Big test for Rafa but he figured it out and ultimately Jannik was the player under pressure, great victory for Rafa. He showed resilience and intelligence to claim an important victory. I was a little disappointed at Jannik’s behaviour at the net, he didn’t make eye contact with Rafa. I expected more grace as he was invited to the Academy to train with Rafa.
    Now Rafa faces cheeky Shapovalov bit I think that Rafa will win, short turnaround which is tough on Rafa but he will be ready. Go Rafa🇪🇸🌟🍀

    • Elizabeth, the cold body language from Sinner at the net at the end of the match was very noticeable. He has quite a serious, emotionless look on court anyway and I know his pride must have been dented to lose to Rafa on home soil, but his attitude was unsporting. Anyone who hadn’t seen the whole match would be forgiven for thinking he was angered by Rafa during the match. I hope that in time he develops a better personality.

      • I was surprised in Sinner’s response at the net too especially after such a terrific match. I know that he thinks highly of Rafa so I put it down to his being so disappointed. He will need to work on that. The match itself was excellent.

      • I have not watch much of Sinner….but I did notice just like you Lorna that is has absolutely no personality. He may fists pump a few times but he plays with a poker face without any expression. Too bad because he’s really good, but who wants to watch a boring expressionless player like that!

  10. FELICITACIONES!!!! Rafa por este partido, bien jugado y defendido, es lo que necesitas para tus próximos, me gustó tu actitud, nunca olvides tu servicio, es algo primordial, ADELANTE Y SIEMPRE CONTIGO!!!!

  11. God bless you Rafa. And I mean for every match you play all clay court season. Love you. Mary Lynn

  12. Congrats, Rafael Nadal. Sinner solved. Of course, every player wants an opportunity to face you. Here is hoping for that moment when everything “clicks”, confidence soars, and you elevate your game. Good luck in next round👏👍💪🤛🍀🎾❤️

  13. A good first round for you. A hard hitter with a stiff resolve not to give in. I think it was a much better opponent to get you ready for tougher matches. You playef a strong game and did not give in this time, honing your strengths ,good!!! Have fun with the other leftie!! Vamos, man!!

  14. Rafa congratulations well don congratulations good luck for the next much vamosssssss champ you can do it 💪💪💪👍❤️👍👍❤️

  15. I’am Canadian but Nadal is my best tennis player’s for a long time ! Good Luce Rafa 🎾

  16. Good test today Rafa, so glad you played well enough to advance.👍
    Keep it going……all the best vs D. Shapovalov who is also a lefty, and he can be tricky as well.
    Hope you win in straight sets.🍀💪❤️

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