Federer, Nadal and Osaka through to last 16 in Rome

first_imgFederer, Nadal and Osaka through to last 16 in RomeRoger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka booked their respective places in the quarter-finals of the Italian Open.advertisement Reuters RomeMay 16, 2019UPDATED: May 16, 2019 20:17 IST Roger Federer is making a return to the Italian Open for the first time since 2016 (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSRoger Federer defeated Joao Sousa 6-4 6-3 in the second roundRafael Nadal demolished Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-0 6-1Naomi Osaka beat Dominika Cibulkova 6-3 6-3 in the day’s openerFormer world number one Roger Federer marked his return to the Italian Open for the first time since 2016 with a 6-4 6-3 second-round win over Joao Sousa on Thursday.The Swiss had criticised organisers for doubling ticket prices after he confirmed his participation last weekend but the fans who had made their way into Foro Italico on Thursday have been rewarded with a Federer double bill.With rain having washed out Wednesday’s play, Federer along with champion Rafael Nadal and top seed Novak Djokovic all face playing back-to-back matches on Thursday if they want to reach the quarter-finals.The backlog means that fans on the secondary Grandstand Court can also look forward to a blockbuster schedule as Federer will be back for an evening showdown with Croatian Borna Coric.Earlier in the day, Nadal had treated the Grandstand fans to a 6-0 6-1 demolition of Frenchman Jeremy Chardy and the Spaniard will be back on action on the main stage against Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili.Women’s world number one Naomi Osaka produced a solid performance to beat Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova 6-3 6-3 in the day’s opener.Djokovic, fresh from winning last week’s Madrid Open, was playing Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the round of 32. A clash with either Philipp Kohlschreiber or Marco Cecchinato will be the winner’s reward.The 37-year old Federer moved around the court like his younger self as he rifled in 17 winners in the opening set, having broken Sousa in the seventh game before he saved a triple break point, the last one with a stunning crosscourt forehand.advertisementHaving broken Sousa’s serve in the opening game of the second set, the Swiss maestro was at his best again in the seventh as he saved a double break point and went on to wrap up the entertaining contest.”I came out of the blocks well and held serve throughout, so I am very happy to be in the next round,” said Federer.”I played today already and Borna didn’t. I don’t know whether it’s a disadvantage or not but either way it’s going to be tough.”After crashing out in the semi-finals on home soil in Madrid, Nadal wasted no time in making a statement of intent as he blew away Chardy.Nadal won 80 per cent of the points on both his first and second serve as he tormented the Frenchman with a barrage of stinging baseline shots.Osaka made a slow start against Cibulkova as the Slovakian broke the world number one in the third game of the opening set but regained her composure quickly.The Japanese served two aces to save a double break point in the eighth game and enjoyed plain sailing for the rest of the tie after clinching the game with a service winner.In the men’s draw, Fernando Verdasco ground out a surprise 4-6 6-4 7-5 win over fifth seed Dominic Thiem, as did Jan-Lennard Struff with a 6-2 6-3 hammering of Marin Cilic.Also Read | Novak Djokovic has a sick obsession with wanting to be liked: Nick KyrgiosFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow Roger FedererFollow Rafael NadalFollow Naomi OsakaFollow Quarter-finalsFollow Italian OpenFollow Rome Nextlast_img read more

Concerned at Gaza violence Ban Kimoon calls for restoration of calm

Reports indicate that during heavy exchanges of fire, including the use of tank fire in populated areas, a number of Palestinian civilians were injured and at least one was reported killed, according to a statement released by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.“The Secretary-General calls on all parties to do their utmost to protect civilians and uphold international law,” the spokesperson said. “In addition, Palestinian rocket fire into Israel must stop. Calm must be restored in order to focus all energies on finding a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.” 6 July 2007United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced deep concern at the violence reported in Gaza in the context of the recent Israeli incursion and called for a restoration of calm. read more