Rafael Nadal moves closer to 100, Novak Djokovic is one QF away from Roger Federer

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Rafael Nadal moves closer to 100, Novak Djokovic is one QF away from Roger Federer

Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have been the players to beat at the Masters 1000 series for over 15 years, setting numerous records that will never be broken. Three legends have won 100 Masters 1000 titles combined since Hamburg 2002, pushing each other to the limits and leaving all the rivals behind them.

Djokovic and Nadal were not title contenders in Monte Carlo and Madrid (they both skipped Miami), and they bounced back at Foro Italico, where they have been the dominant figures for the previous 16 years. In Rome, Nadal advanced to his 97th Masters 1000 quarter-final, playing in the last eight at this level for 18 straight times since Cincinnati 2017 and moving closer to his milestone 100th quarter-final, which could come in the rest of the season.

Roger Federer stands on 87 Masters 1000 quarter-finals, missing the premium ATP series in the last two seasons due to a knee injury and allowing Novak Djokovic to move only one behind him.

Rafael Nadal is closing on his 100th Masters 1000 quarter-final.

The Serb stands third with 86 quarter-finals, and there's no one even close to them, with Andy Murray keeping the fourth place with 51.

Nadal made a winning start in Rome following a hard-fought 7-5, 6-4 victory over the fellow top-20 player Jannik Sinner. Nadal got broken thrice and had to chase the result in both sets, overcoming two deficits in the opener and bouncing back from 4-2 down in set number two to advance into the third round.

The Spaniard had to dig deep against Denis Shapovalov, prevailing 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 after saving two match points in the deciding set's 12th game! Nadal came back from 6-3, 3-0, 40-30 down, remaining composed and stealing the second set to prolong the match and stay alive.

The Canadian kept fighting and built the advantage in the final set that Nadal erased and started all over. Shapovalov saved break points at 5-5 and earned those two match points in game 12, wasting both and allowing Rafa to seal the deal in the tie break.

Djokovic secured his 15th Rome quarter-final following triumphs over Taylor Fritz and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, maintaining his perfect score in the Rome Open early rounds and securing the 15th quarter-final from as many appearances at Foro Italico.

In the title match, Nadal took down Djokovic in three sets to secure the 10th Rome Open crown and join the Serb on 36 Masters 1000 titles.