ATP Rome Day 4 wrapup: Nadal, Djokovic cruise, Federer survives, Kyrgios defaulted in wild Thursday
Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

ATP Rome Day 4 wrapup: Nadal, Djokovic cruise, Federer survives, Kyrgios defaulted in wild Thursday

Six of the top eight seeds made it safely through to the quarterfinals while the volatile Aussie was kicked out of the tournament following an ugly incident.

john-lupo
John Lupo

In the busiest and most exciting day of the Italian Open so far, top seed Novak Djokovic, defending champion Rafael Nadal and third seed Roger Federer were among those who won twice to reach the quarterfinals. 

Also reaching the last eight with a pair of wins were sixth seed Kei Nishikori, seventh seed Juan Martin Del Potro, eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas as well as unseeded Diego Schwartzman and Fernando Verdasco while Nick Kyrgios was defaulted.

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Nadal, Djokovic barely break a sweat; Federer overcomes Coric in second match

The top two players in the world were never really challenged as Djokovic first cruised past Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-1, 6-3 and then returned to gain a measure of revenge on Philipp Kohlschreiber, who defeated him in Indian Wells, routing the German 6-3, 6-0.

Nadal was even more ruthless as he ran his winning streak at the Foro Italico to seven with blowout wins over Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 6-1 and 14th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 6-0, spending a little over two hours on court in total. He meets his countryman Verdasco, who posted three-set upsets of fourth seed Dominic Thiem and 12th seed Karen Khachanov.

Federer began his day with a straightforward 6-3, 6-4 win over Joao Sousa before escaping the challenge of 13th seed Borna Coric 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7). After dropping the first set that saw him broken twice, the Swiss rebounded to claim the second only to save a pair of match points in the third set tiebreaker.

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Nishikori, Del Potro, Tsitsipas into last eight

The sixth seed from Japan started with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over American Taylor Fritz, returning to battle back from a set and a break down against hard-hitting German Jan-Lennard Struff 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 in two hours, 11 minutes. Nishikori will face Schwartzman, who knocked off Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Matteo Berrettini.

Del Potro, meanwhile, looked solid in claiming wins over David Goffin and Casper Ruud. The Argentine first swept past the Belgian 6-4, 6-2 and followed that up with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over the young Norwegian in setting up a last eight showdown with Djokovic.

Tsitsipas, who has had a banner season on clay so far with a title in Estoril and a final in Madrid, disappointed the home nation twice, routing 17 year-old wild card Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-2 and a 6-4, 6-3 win over 11th seed Fabio Fognini to book a quarterfinal with Federer.

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Kyrgios defaulted after hurling chair across the court

In what can only be described as an act of madness, Kyrgios was defaulted following his actions early in the third set. After splitting sets in his second-round match against Ruud, the Australian faced a break point and he proceeded to frame a forehand wide to hand the break straight back to the 21-year old.

Kyrgios then turned his ire at the crowd before slamming his racket to the floor amid a flurry of swear words. He then kicked over his water bottles and incredibly picked up a chair and tossed it onto the court. Given a game penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, he packed his bags, said "I'm done", shook hands with a stunned Ruud before the umpire ejected him.

In an Instagram post following the match, Kyrgios said "very eventful day to say the least. Emotions got the better of me and I just wanted to say that the atmosphere was crazy today out there today, just sorry that it had to end in a default. See you again Roma, maybe".

A €20,000 fine was levied at the Aussie for three unsportsmanlike code violations. In addition to that, Kyrgios forfeits 45 ATP ranking points, all of his €33,635 prize money and he must cover the cost of his hospitality during the tournament. He could also face a suspension, which would be his second following an incident in Shanghai in 2016.

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