Nadal ruthless in Rome, Halep and Azarenka win


While Djokovic breezed past Italian Salvatore Caruso following his NY embarrassment, Nadal hammered US Open semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1, 6-1 in 73 minutes on Wednesday night.

"Obviously, it's not the same thing".

"I can not promise or can not guarantee that I will never ever do anything similar to that in my life", Djokovic said in Rome ahead of the Italian Open. We didn't chat about tennis politics or anything like that.

Also, Marin Cilic beat sixth-seeded David Goffin 6-2, 6-2.

Austria's Dominic Thiem won his first grand slam title after two of the triumvirate had deprived him on three previous opportunities.

In a stunning move, Djokovic stepped down as head of the ATP player council last month along with members Vasek Pospisil, John Isner and Sam Querrey and announced the formation of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA).

And the world number two opted out of the U.S. hard court tour because of coronavirus concerns and citing the "madness" of the new calendar.

Rafael Nadal has offered some sympathy for world number one Novak Djokovic after his great rival's shock default from the US Open for hitting a lineswoman in the throat with a stray ball.

"I still have the morale, the rage, the desire and the motivation to come back in 2021", he said.

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"But here I am". That's what I am doing. It was very awkward and disappointing for me to finish off the US Open that way because I felt very good about myself, my game, I had won the Western and Southern Open. I hope that from now on it will be easier for me to compete in the big tournaments. Thiem is the only one to have beaten each of Federer, Djokovic and Nadal four times.

"How I feel? Well. But I don't think I'll have any major issues coming back to the tour and being able to perform well and hit the tennis ball". Served well when I needed to come up with a big serve and moved well. "I'll try to take a set from him and, who knows, maybe even the match".

Tournament favorites Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic rolled in their Rome openers on Wednesday. He's a clay court specialist.

"It's going to be adjustment challenge, you know, how quickly can we adapt, how quickly can we adjust to this new surface".

Serena Williams, suffering from an Achilles tendon problem, and US Open champion Naomi Osaka will also skip the Rome event.

The world's top two are both bidding for a record 36th career Masters crown in Rome this week. The world number one had been the overwhelming favourite to lift the US Open trophy, having not lost a singles match all season.

"Everything is really well taken care of".

"We can not be with the fans, we can not be with the people that are not in the bubble, so I think they will be separate".