Hubert Hurkacz upsets Rafael Nadal's quest for 11th Italian Open title in Rome

Hubert Hurkacz upsets Rafael Nadal's quest for 11th Italian Open title in Rome

Rafael Nadal's bid to win the Italian Open for a record-extending 11th time ended with a second-round defeat to Hubert Hurkacz in Rome.

On Thursday, Nadal fought back from a set down against Zizou Bergs to qualify for the next stage of a tournament he last won in 2021.

But the 37-year-old Spaniard was outclassed 6-1 6-3 by seventh seed Hurkacz on a blistering warm day - a match which could prove to be Nadal's last in the Italian capital.

Nadal, a winner of 22 grand-slam titles who could retire at the end of the year, lost his very first service game, and was broken on two further occasions as Hurkacz took the opening set in comprehensive fashion, losing just one game.

Nadal was then immediately on the backfoot in the second set when he was broken in just the third game, with Hurkacz, ranked ninth in the world, going on to complete an impressive victory in one hour and 32 minutes.

"I am proud of myself because playing Rafa is special," said Hurkacz following his first match against Nadal.

"It is just different, especially on clay, the surface he has dominated for the past 20 years. No one will ever have a record like him on this surface, so he is bigger than the sport."

British number two Jack Draper was unable to stop defending champion Daniil Medvedev from progressing to the third round as he suffered a 7-5 6-4 defeat.

Draper narrowly missed out on the opening set, before he lost five consecutive games in the second.

However, the 22-year-old rallied to take the next three games and force Medvedev to serve for the match twice with the world number four seeing out the win in one hour and 47 minutes.

Medvedev, 28, will play Serbia's Hamad Medjedovic in the next round.

In the WTA event, world number one Iga Swiatek secured her place in the last 16 with a straight-sets win over Yulia Putintseva.

The Pole took the first set 6-3 and despite trailing her opponent 4-1 in the second set, she won five games in succession to extend her winning streak to eight matches.

Swiatek will next face Angelique Kerber, while former world number one Naomi Osaka, who is yet to drop a set, is also through to the next round after she saw off Daria Kasatkina 6-3 6-3.

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