Novak Djokovic played like a man in a hurry – and on a roll – on Thursday at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. The four-time champion spent only 66 minutes on the court, dismissing #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-1, 6-3 on Campo Centrale.
Djokovic, who won Rome in 2008, '11, '14-15, landed 80 per cent of his first serves and came through on nine of his 13 break points against Shapovalov, who hit 24 unforced errors to 16 winners. The two first met in January in the third round of the Australian Open, where Djokovic won in four sets, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0, en route to his 15th Grand Slam title.
On Sunday, he beat #NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas to win a record-tying 33rd ATP Masters 1000 title at the Mutua Madrid Open. Both Nadal and Djokovic are vying for No. 34 this week in the Italian capital.
In Thursday's final match on Grandstand, the top-seeded Djokovic will face the winner of German Philipp Kohlschreiber and Italy's Marco Cecchinato for a place in the quarter-finals.