Nadal fights past Kyrgios


Rafael Nadal gained a measure of revenge over Nick Kyrgios with a three-set win at the Internazionali d'Italia on Thursday.

The Spaniard had lost the only previous meeting between the pair - their memorable clash at Wimbledon in 2014 - but claimed a battling 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 6-4 win in Rome.

Nadal, a seven-time champion at the ATP 1000 event, showcased his trademark defence and movement after a somewhat slow start to the third-round clash, and a meeting with either Novak Djokovic or Thomaz Bellucci awaits.

Battling an apparent hip injury, Kyrgios was unable to capitalise on claiming the first set as he went down after two hours and 40 minutes of action.

Kyrgios' power pushed Nadal back early, but the former's break in the opening game - completed with a tremendous backhand winner - was immediately given up.

Nadal would be left to rue letting a set point slip in the 10th game when he pushed a sloppy backhand return long.

A double fault and forehand error would give Kyrgios control in the tie-break and he converted with his 19th winner of the set.

Nadal wasted no time gaining the upper hand early in the second, winning the opening 10 points on his way to a double break.

Kyrgios needed treatment during the second set and there was further pain to come as Nadal broke for 2-1 in the third with a curling forehand winner, sending him on his way to victory.