Del Potro suffers injury setback as Zverev marches on in Rome
Alexander Zverev extended his winning run to 11 matches but there was disappointment for Juan Martin del Potro in Thursday's action at the Internazionali d'Italia.
Looking to defend his title in Rome following victory in Madrid last week, Zverev had to work hard to battle past Kyle Edmund 7-5 7-6 (13-11) and reach the quarter-finals of the tournament.
Next up will be David Goffin, who progressed through to the last eight in the Italian capital for a third time in the last four years when Del Potro was forced to pull out.
The Argentinian was a set down but led 5-4 in the second when he retired with an apparent groin injury.
"I was worried about that so I decided to stop the game at the end of the second set to see the doctor and see what they say," Del Potro told the ATP Tour. "I will do all of the exams now and then I will try to make a good decision for the future."
In the same half of the draw, Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic beat Benoit Paire and will next face Pablo Carreno Busta – who ousted Aljaz Bedene in three sets.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal and former world number one Novak Djokovic remain on course to meet in the semi-finals after both men progressed with respective wins over Denis Shapovalov and Albert Ramos Vinolas.
SERVICE SUSPENDED BUT RUN GOES ON
The in-form Zverev has now won 22 sets in succession, albeit his impressive service streak came to an end at 65 games against Edmund.
The second seed was finally broken while attempting to serve out the first set at 5-4, while he appeared in danger of losing the second when the Brit had a set point on his opponent's serve.
While the German staved off the threat of a decider, he had to wait until his eighth match-point opportunity to finally put an end to Edmund's brave resistance.
ROME WITH A VIEW
Stunned by Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals in Madrid, 16-time grand slam champion Nadal appears to be on a mission on Italian soil.
The Spaniard lost just five points on his own serve as he crushed Shapovalov 6-4 6-1 in their second-round meeting, keeping him on course to win the tournament for an eighth time, albeit the last occasion came back in 2013.
Nadal also knows securing the title in Rome will see him replace long-time rival Roger Federer at the top of the world rankings.
Fabio Fognini stands in his way of a place in the semi-finals, the Italian overcoming a sluggish start against Peter Gojowczyk to triumph in straight sets.
DJOKOVIC CELEBRATES A FIRST FOR 2018
A four-time champion in Rome, Serbian star Djokovic accounted for Ramos-Vinolas 6-1 7-5.
The result meant Djokovic reached his first quarter-final of the season, which has been plagued by injury and form issues.
"I'm happy. I haven't had too many matches of this quality of my tennis in the past 12 months," said Djokovic, who has won three consecutive matches for the first time since the Australian Open.
"I think this was probably one of the three matches that I played this way in the past 12 months. So, it felt good. And it came at the right time in the place where I love to play, where I get a lot of support... I feel like each match is getting better. So, hopefully, it's going to continue in this direction."