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Rome Masters: Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas upset seventh seeds to enter quarter-finals

In singles, Nadal and Djokovic progress while Wawrinka is shown the door.

Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas
Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas won the Monte Carlo Masters last month

Indian doubles ace Rohan Bopanna and his Uruguayan partner Pablo Cuevas continued their rampage through the 2017 Internazionali BNL D’Italia draw as they upset the seventh seeds and reigning French Open champions Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez, 4-6, 7-6(7), 10-8 to enter the quarter-finals in Rome on Thursday. 

The unseeded pair conceded one break of serve in the first set that gifted the opener to the Spaniards. In a tense and thrilling second set, they needed as many as five set points to force a deciding tie-break in which they narrowly edged past the seventh seeds.

This is the second time in a month that they prevailed over the Spanish combine, having got the better of them in the Monte Carlo Masters final in April.

The Indo-Uruguayan duo next faces the fourth-seeded Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert. fourth seeded Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert. 

Bopanna and Cuevas have been in fine form in this tournament. In the first round, they dropped only six games to defeat Italian wildcards Simone Bolleli and Andreas Seppi, 6-4, 6-2.

Nadal to meet Thiem

Rafael Nadal Rome Masters 2017
Rafael Nadal is back to his prolific best on the clay

Meanwhile in singles, the season’s two best performing clay courters – Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem – are set to meet for the third consecutive tournament. Although the two locked horns in the finals of the Barcelona Open and the Madrid Masters, this time they will cross swords two rounds early in the quarter-finals.

Fourth seed Nadal was clinical in his 6-3, 6-4 win over the 13th seeded Jack Sock. It is the nine-time French Open champion’s 17th straight win after securing titles at Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid.

Eighth-seeded Thiem, in contrast, had a difficult road to the last-eight. The Austrian saved three match points for a hard-fought 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7) win over Acapulco champion Sam Querrey. 

Del Potro sets up Djokovic showdown, Wawrinka ousted

Stanislas Wawrinka Rome Masters 2017
Wawrinka’s campaign came to a grinding halt

Four-time Rome champion Novak Djokovic set up a blockbuster quarter-final clash with 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro. The Argentine broke seventh seed and last year’s semi-finalist Kei Nishikori three times to secure a 7-6(4), 6-3 victory in 1 hour 54 minutes.

Djokovic had a comfortable outing in the third round as he dismissed Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, 6-4, 6-4.

Meanwhile, 2015 French Open winner Stan Wawrinka’s woes continue. The Swiss was shown the door 6(1)-7, 4-6 by the big-serving John Isner in just 1 hour 25 minutes.

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