Tennis

Nadal through to last 16 in Rome

Rafael Nadal eased into the last 16 of the Italian Open last night, after his second-round opponent Nicolas Almagro retired due to a knee injury in the first set.

Nadal, the tournament favourite who looks to be in the form of his life on clay this season, raced into a 3-0 lead before Spanish compatriot Almagro injured his left knee with less than half an hour played.

Bidding for a record eighth title to go with his recent successes in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, Nadal, 30, will meet either the Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely or American Jack Sock in the last 16.

Earlier, Japan's Kei Nishikori beat Spain's David Ferrer 7-5, 6-2 and will play either Britain's Kyle Edmund or Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro next.

Defending champion and men's No. 1 Andy Murray crashed out after losing 6-2, 6-4 to Fabio Fognini yesterday morning (Singapore time). - REUTERS

ANDY MURRAYItaly