Canada's Andreescu battles past Parrizas Diaz to reach 3rd round of Italian Open

Canada's Bianca Andreescu advanced to the third round of the Italian Open tennis tournament with a 6-3, 7-6 (4) win over Spain's Nuria Parrizas Diaz on Wednesday.

Fellow Canadian Leylah Fernandez loses to Russia's Daria Kasatkina in 2nd round

Canada's Bianca Andreescu, seen earlier at the Italian Open, beat Nuria Parrizas Diaz 6-3, 7-6(4) to reach the third round in Rome on Wednesday. (Alberto Lingria/Reuters)

Bianca Andreescu advanced to the third round of the Italian Open tennis tournament on Wednesday while fellow Canadian Leylah Fernandez lost her second-round match.

Andreescu moved on with a 6-3, 7-6 (4) win over Spain's Nuria Parrizas-Diaz as she moved on to the round of 16 at a WTA 1000 tournament for the second straight week.

Later, Fernandez dropped a close 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2) decision to Russia's Daria Kasatkina.

Andreescu won 61.4 per cent of her service points, compared to 53.6 per cent for Parrizas Diaz.

Andreescu will next face Croatia's Petra Martiç at the clay-court tournament. It will be the first meeting between the players.

WATCH | Andreescu upends Parrizas Diaz to reach 3rd round:

Andreescu breezes into the Italian Open round of 16

1 month ago
Duration 3:07
Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., cruised into the Italian Open round of 16 with a 6-3, 7-6(4) win over Nuria Parrizas-Diaz of Spain.

Nadal makes quick work of Isner

Once is enough when it comes to beating Rafael Nadal on a clay court.

Throughout his career, Nadal has never lost consecutive matches on his favourite surface and the Spaniard extended that perfect record by beating John Isner 6-3, 6-1 to reach the third round of the Italian Open.

Nadal was coming off a loss to 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz in the Madrid Open quarter-finals last week. After a first-round bye, he improved to 44-0 in matches on clay following a loss on the surface.

Perhaps more importantly, Nadal regained some confidence as he works his way back from a rib stress fracture that kept him out for six weeks before the tournament in Madrid.

While he would clearly love to add to his record total of 10 Italian Open titles, Nadal's bigger objective is regaining his top form in time for the French Open, which starts in less than two weeks. Nadal has won 13 of his 21 Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros.

The match with Isner was essentially decided during one brief stretch.

Nadal struggled on his serve at 3-3 in the first set, missing a forehand into the net then double-faulting to set up break points for Isner. But the American made unforced errors on both of his break-point opportunities and Nadal eventually held.

In the following game, Nadal broke Isner's serve when the 6-foot-10 American missed a comfortable forehand volley into the net. Nadal then held at love to close out the first set and broke Isner's serve in the opening game of the second.

"I finished better than I started — without a doubt," Nadal said. "He had some chances on the returns. I was in his hands in that moment. Lucky that he missed those shots."

Faces Canada's Shapovalov next

Up next, Nadal meets Denis Shapovalov, the Canadian he beat at the same stage last year in a grueling three-set comeback victory in which the Spaniard saved two match points.

"Super lucky," Nadal said, reflecting back to playing Shapovalov last year. "I know how dangerous he is. I need to play better than today."

Second-seeded Alexander Zverev, who was routed by Alcaraz in the Madrid final on Sunday, beat Sebastian Baez 7-6 (6), 6-3 to end the Argentine qualifier's eight-match winning streak.

In the women's tournament, 2019 French Open semifinalist Amanda Anisimova eliminated Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic 7-6 (5), 6-1, and Croatian qualifier Petra Martic beat fifth-seeded Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-3.

Madrid finalist Jessica Pegula advanced when Anhelina Kalinina withdrew before their match because of an upper back injury. The American will next face third-seeded Aryna Sabalenka.

Tsitsipas scrapes by

Stefanos Tsitsipas saved two match points to advance. 

Tsitsipas scraped past Grigor Dimitrov with a 6-3 5-7 7-6(4) win but he was made to toil after the Bulgarian suddenly found his groove in the second set.

Dimitrov broke to love when Tsitsipas was serving for the match and won four straight games to take it to a third set.

Dimitrov earned match points at 5-4 and 6-5 in the decider but the Greek fourth seed saved both and forced a tiebreak, where he raced to a 5-0 lead before sealing his progress.

"Incredible fight, I'm extremely happy I was able to overcome this obstacle," Tsitsipas said. "Grigor played really well, gave me a hard time on the court.

"The fact that I was able to process all of that and come back stronger in the third set tiebreak, it was such a great way to redeem myself."

Second seed Alexander Zverev, who lost in the final in Madrid at the weekend, also advanced to the last-16 after he dispatched Argentine Sebastian Baez 7-6(6) 6-3.

With files from The Associated Press

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