Kyrgios sees off Raonic in Rome

Nick Kyrgios has cruised into the third round of the Rome International after beating world No.10 Milos Raonic 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

It was the Australian’s fifth victory over a top-10 player this year – a record only bettered by Novak Djokovic who is 12-0.

The World No.20 sent down six aces against the big-serving Canadian who foundered badly in the second set with Kyrgios breaking him twice as he comfortably saw out the match.

Kyrgios will now face seven-time Rome champion Rafael Nadal for a place in the quarter-finals.

Roger Federer put his full array of shots on display in a 6-3 7-5 win over Alexander Zverev, an encouraging performance considering he only decided to play moments before stepping onto the court.

“I was expecting to lose in straight sets today. That was the mindset going in, so to win in straights is actually a really big surprise to me,” said Federer, who has been having problems with his back.

“I played cautious, and I only decided after the warmup that I was actually going to play.”

Federer will next meet 13th-seeded Dominic Thiem, who beat Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-3 6-2, but he couldn’t immediately confirm that he would play Thursday.

“I don’t know how I’m going to feel tomorrow,” Federer said.

“I hope so. But I’m literally going practice after practice. Every 15 minutes I speak to (coaches) Ivan (Ljubicic) or Severin (Luthi) and say, What else can we do?

“It’s baby steps right now. So to even think of tomorrow is already a big ask,” he added.

Top-ranked Djokovic, Andy Murray and Nadal also advanced in straight sets.

Djokovic beat 35-year-old French qualifier Stephane Robert 7-5 7-5 as he seeks a third straight title in Rome and fourth overall.

Murray never dropped his serve, hitting seven aces, as he eliminated Kazakh qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-3.

Nadal defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-3.

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