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Federer, Nadal in third round at Italian Open

Federer, Nadal in third round at Italian Open

Roger Federer marked his Italian Open return with victory against Portugal's Joao Sousa, as eight-time champion Rafael Nadal also progressed in Rome, reports BBC. Making his first appearance since 2016, four-time finalist Federer, 37, defeated Sousa 6-4 6-3 in one hour and 21 minutes to reach the third round. Defending champion Nadal, 32, took one hour and eight minutes to beat France's Jeremy Chardy 6-0 6-1. Federer plays Borna Coric next, while Nadal faces Nikoloz Basilashvili. Both matches will be played later on Thursday after rain washed out Wednesday's play. Konta defeats Stephens to set up Williams meeting in Rome. Barcelona Open champion and Madrid Open semi-finalist Dominic Thiem lost in the second round to Spain's world number 38 Fernando Verdasco. Thiem took the first set but Verdasco broke the world number four's serve at 5-5 in the third to win 4-6 6-4 7-5 in two hours and 46 minutes. Ninth seed Marin Cilic is also out after Germany's world number 51 Jan-Lennard Struff claimed a 6-2 6-3 victory against the Croat. Struff's third-round opponent is Kei Nishikori, after Japan's world number six defeated American Taylor Fritz 6-2 6-4.

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