Denis Shapovalov will look to continue his excellent run in the Italian Open when he faces Casper Ruud in the quarter-finals on Friday (2.00pm, UK time).
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After the first set of Denis Shapovalov’s third-round tie against Rafael Nadal, many will have dreaming of a semi-final between the Spaniard and Novak Djokovic. But Shapovalov had other ideas. This was the third time Shapovalov had faced Nadal in the third round of the Italian Open, and on the previous two occasions the Canadian bowed out
Third time was the charm though as Shapovalov took both the second and third sets to win 1-6 7-5 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals for the second time. It hasn’t been an easy ride to the quarter-finals either. Shapovalov was taken to three sets by Italian Lorenzo Sonego in the first round, winning 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-3 and then needed a second-set tie breaker to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4 7-6 (7-5) in the second.
His reward is a match against fifth-see Casper Ruud. The Norwegian, as one of the top eight seeds, earned a bye into the second round but that didn’t make things any easier as Ruud was taken to three sets by Botic van de Zandschulp, eventually winning 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-4. The third round was a bit more straightforward, with American Jenson Brooksby falling 6-3 6-4.
Ruud will now be looking to emulate the 2020 Italian Open when he reached the semi-finals, though he will naturally be hoping for a better result, losing to Novak Djokovic two years ago. Last year, Ruud withdrew from the Italian Open last year, having opted to compete in Munich and Madrid instead (either side of the Rome tournament). But this year, his sights will be set on glory, having seen one of the four seeded players above him knocked out, and another two potentially set to face off in the semi-finals.
Prediction: Casper Ruud to win in three sets
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