The Freeman

Nadal and Swiatek reach Rome last 16, Wawrinka wins again


Rafael Nadal eased into the last 16 of the Italian Open with a straightfo­rward 6-3, 6-1 win over John Isner, while Iga Swiatek is on course for a fifth straight WTA triumph after seeing off Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3, 6-0.

Third seed Nadal made short work of Isner as he bids for an 11th title in Rome, the King of Clay seeing off his American opponent in one hour and 17 minutes under blazing sunshine at the Foro Italico.

Nadal later told reporters that Swiatek was doing “amazing things” and it was difficult to argue after she set up a third-round match with Victoria Azarenka after wiping the floor with Ruse.

The 20-year-old Swiatek is in red-hot form after winning her last four tournament­s and will be eyeing a second title at Roland Garros after winning there as a teenager in 2020.

Meanwhile, Stan Wawrinka, who won for the first time in 15 months in the first round, edged out Laslo Djere 7-6 (10/8), 3-6, 6-3 to set up a last 16 clash with world number one Novak Djokovic.

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