Rafael Nadal beats Jack Sock while Dominic Thiem progresses in Rome
By Sky Sports Tennis
Last Updated: 22/05/17 3:15pm
Rafael Nadal underlined his credentials as the favourite for the Rome Masters after he defeated Jack Sock in straight sets.
Nadal maintained his unbeaten run on clay this season by winning 6-3 6-4 to set a quarter-final clash with Dominic Thiem. Sock used his doubles skills to good effect at times but was unable to thwart Nadal's progress.
The American 13th seed was broken in his first service game of the second set but hit back immediately to reassert himself in the match before Nadal secured the pivotal break at 4-4. The Spaniard then served out the contest under the lights.
Thiem overcame American Sam Querrey in an absorbing three-set contest to maintain his brilliant recent run of results on clay.
The Austrian survived a barrage of big-hitting from Querrey to prevail 3-6 6-3 7-6 in a titanic contest which lasted nearly two hours.
Thiem will be hopeful of exacting some revenge against Nadal who has beaten the world No 7 in both the Madrid and Barcelona finals during the clay-court swing.
Juan Martin del Potro set up a quarter-final meeting with world No 2 Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals in Rome following an impressive and confidence boosting 7-6 6-3 victory over Japanese seventh seed Kei Nishikori.
Del Potro, world No 34, has only played at the Estoril Open in Portugal during the clay season but is proving that he is dangerous opposition before the French Open.
The Argentinian Davis Cup winner, who defeated Britain's Kyle Edmund in the second round, was forced to withdraw from last year's French but will be hoping to produce a good performance in Paris this time around.
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