ROME: The legendary Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal started his Italian Open 2022 campaign on a high as he thrashed his American opponent John Isner 6-3, 6-1 in the second round.
Nadal, who has a strong record at the Italian Open, seemed at ease in his first match of the season against Isner, using his signature spinning groundstrokes to counteract the latter’s massive serves.
After squandering two break points at 3-3 in the first set, the unseeded Isner struggled to regain any momentum as Nadal dominated the second to improve to a 69-7 match record at the Italian Open.
The win over Isner has prevented the 10-times Italian Open champion, Nadal, from losing two consecutive matches on clay court as the Spaniard suffered an astonishing defeat by his countrymate and the eventual Madrid Open champion Carlos Alcaraz in the quarter-finals last week.
The Spaniard next faces another North American star Denis Shapovalov in the third round. The two players last came face to face in a memorable semi-final of the Italian Open 2021.