Rafael Nadal: World No 1 prediction made following Denis Shapovalov win | Tennis | Sport

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That is the verdict of Sky Sports tennis expert and former British No 1 Annabel Croft.

Croft was speaking after Nadal’s 6-4, 6-1 victory over Denis Shapovalov in the last-16 of the Italian Open.

Nadal knows he will leapfrog old rival Roger Federer if he wins the tournament this week.

And Croft believes the Spaniard’s display today shows it looks more than likely he will do that.

“Well he’s certainly going to take some beating,” she said on Sky Sports.

“He looked very, very comfortable, he looked confident once again.

“I think he was striking his forehand with authority. He just had very clear tactics and a game-plan and executed it to perfection.

“I just do think Shapovalov run out of steam at the end of the day.”

Croft also believes the conditions in Rome helped Nadal’s cause against Shapovalov.

“The other thing is it’s getting a little bit breezy out here today,” Croft added.

“The wind really picked up as the match unfolded. As we always say about Rafael Nadal, he’s a very good wind player.”

Rafael Nadal will face home favourite Fabio Fognini in the quarter-final tomorrow.

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