Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan fell in the second round of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Thursday, while Roger Federer was not concerned after crashing out of the third round of the men’s singles.
Sixth seeds Chan and Anna-Lena Groenefeld looked to be cruising to the quarter-finals at the Foro Italico in Rome when they won the first set 6-2, but Romanian duo Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculescu rallied to edge the second set and then completed a 2-6, 7-6 (7/1), 10-8 victory in the super tiebreak.
Begu and Niculescu saved one of the seven break points they faced against the Taiwanese-German duo, but they converted four of six, winning 69 of the 137 points contested in 1 hour, 32 minutes in the Italian capital.
The Romanians were to face third seeds Timea Babos of Hungary and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan, who defeated Italian duo Claudia Giovine and Angelica Moratelli 6-3, 6-2 in 68 minutes.
In the men’s singles, Federer was not concerned about losing to world No. 15 Dominic Thiem 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 in the third round.
After withdrawing from last week’s Mutua Madrid Open with lower-back pain, Federer said he was just glad he was able to play two matches on the clay in Rome.
“It doesn’t matter how I played. [What is] important is that I didn’t have any setbacks, and I was able to step on the tennis court and that I tried what I could with what I had,” said Federer, who defeated German teenager Alexander Zverev in straight sets on Wednesday.
“I knew I wasn’t good enough for any result here, so that’s why I hope you don’t read into it so much, and I don’t,” Federer said. “This is like: ‘Who cares about the results here?’ It matters what comes now in the next couple of months.”
However, with only 10 days left before the French Open, Federer needed to figure out how to manage the pain.
“Time starts ticking more towards Paris,” said Federer, who also missed 10 weeks this year after surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus. “The way I’m playing right now is never going to be enough for any good run in Paris and then I also wouldn’t play this way. I’m still confident I will be fine somehow.”
Meanwhile, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and seven-time Rome champion Rafael Nadal set up an attractive quarter-final at the Foro Italico.
Djokovic overcame a horrendous opening set in a 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over world No. 37 Thomaz Bellucci, while Nadal ground out a 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-4 win against Nick Kyrgios.
It was the first time Djokovic was bageled in a set since a loss to Federer in the 2012 Cincinnati final.
On a cool evening, Djokovic struggled to find his range early on, committing 16 unforced errors to Bellucci’s three in the first set alone.
When Djokovic finally held serve in the opening game of the second set, he raised his arms in mock triumph, drawing applause and amusement from the crowd.
Also on Thursday, Andy Murray rolled past Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 6-4 and was to face 12th seed David Goffin, who routed eighth seed Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-0 in 49 minutes.
Thiem’s quarter-final opponent was sixth seed Kei Nishikori, who beat Richard Gasquet 6-1, 6-4.
Juan Monaco of Argentina upset French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-4 and was due to meet lucky loser Lucas Pouille, who beat ninth seed David Ferrer 6-4, 6-1.
In the women’s singles, world No. 1 Serena Williams came back from 5-3 down in the opening set and saved a set point in the tiebreak to beat US qualifier Christina McHale 7-6 (9/7), 6-1.
Williams was sick on Wednesday after trying some of her dog’s food, but said she felt fine on Thursday.
“Unfortunately, it was true,” said Williams, who first shared the news on Snapchat. “I’m not the most serious person off the court. On the court I am, but off the court I don’t have a serious bone in my body.”
Williams’ quarter-final opponent was to be Svetlana Kuznetsova, who beat Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.
Also on Thursday, Timea Bacsinszky beat eighth seed Carla Suarez-Navarro 5-7, 7-5, 6-2; Romanian Begu defeated Daria Kasatkins 6-1, 6-4; Misaki Doi of Japan eliminated Johanna Konta of Britain 4-6, 7-5, 6-2; and Madison Keys made the last eight, overcoming Hungary’s Babos 7-6 (7/2), 6-3.
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