Italian Open: Norrie sets up Djokovic showdown; Swiatek sails into last 16
Cameron Norrie set up a last-16 clash with Novak Djokovic at the Italian Open thanks to a 6-2 7-6 (4) victory over Marton Fucsovics. The British number one had looked on track for a straightforward triumph as he won the first set with minimal fuss and then stormed into a 5-1 lead in the second, only for his Hungarian opponent to fight back to 5-5.
Norrie edged the tie-break which followed, 7-4, however, and will next face Djokovic after the world number one continued his winning run by overcoming Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 4-6 6-1.
The Serbian was given a tough test by the Bulgarian, who - having been 3-1 down in the second set - broke twice to force the decider, but the top seed and defending champion rallied to see out the match convincingly. "(I was) very solid. I think I could have won in straight sets," 22-time grand slam winner Djokovic told the ATP website. "I was a set and 4-2 up and had a pretty decent forehand in the middle of the court at deuce on his serve and missed that. "He held his serve well, we had new balls the next game, I did a double fault, the crowd got into it and got behind him and of course the energy of the place and of the match changed. "I dropped my level a bit, but luckily I managed find it right away in the first game (of the third set), made that crucial break and kind of shifted the momentum to my side, so I'm really pleased with the way I closed out the match."
Russian world number three Daniil Medvedev earned his maiden win at the tournament with a 6-4 6-2 triumph over Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori and expressed his relief at finally winning a match in Rome. "We can talk about all of the matches I lost here, they were different," Medvedev told the ATP website after reaching the third round. "The first one, I feel like I should have won, but it is (what it is). Whenever I come to a tournament, I know that I can play well, so I'm happy to finally get the win here in Rome." Denmark's Holger Rune continued his good run with a 6-4 6-2 success against Andy Murray's conqueror Fabio Fognini, while Norway's world number four Casper Ruud defeated Alexander Bublik 6-1 4-6 7-6 (0). In the women's event, defending champion Iga Swiatek eased into the last 16 with a comfortable victory over Lesia Tsurenko. The world number one continued her strong start in the tournament, cruising to a 6-2 6-0 success, and was pleased with another solid performance. "For sure, after a pretty rusty start, I was able to break back pretty quickly, so I'm happy that I played solid game," she said in her post-match press conference. "Just to have another experience playing on centre court… and I'm happy that it wasn't raining!" Czechia's Marie Bouzkova's upset Coco Gauff in their last-32 encounter, prevailing 4-6 6-2 6-2 to oust the American sixth seed, while Madison Keys advanced to the last 16 via walkover after her opponent Victoria Azarenka withdrew due to a leg injury.
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