Thursday May 14th, 2015

Welcome to Instant Replay, a recap of the best highlights, GIFs and photos as we move into the business end of this week's tournaments. 


Upsets and withdrawals have wreaked havoc on the draw this week at the Italian Open. Serena Williams and Andy Murray both pulled out of the tournament to rest up for the French Open. On the women's side, Simona Halep, Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova are the only Top 10 players to advance to the quarterfinals. For the first time since the WTA Roadmap was introduced in 2009, three qualifiers have advanced to the quarterfinals of a Premier event. 

Despite all the chaos, the players we expect to see deep in the second week in Paris appear to be rounding into form. Here's how the quarterfinals shake out:

Novak Djokovic vs. Kei Nishikori
David Ferrer vs. David Goffin
Stan Wawrinka vs. Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer vs. Tomas Berdych

Christina McHale vs. Daria Gavrilova
Maria Sharapova vs. Victoria Azarenka or Irina Camelia Begu
Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Petra Kvitova
Simona Halep vs. Alexandra Dulgheru

​Check out the top highlights from the week below:

How does he do that? Roger Federer with a flick backhand winner that comes out of nowhere:

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQj7qsomRkI]

Rafael Nadal played a near-perfect match to beat John Isner 6–4, 6–4 to advance to the quarterfinals. Check out his cat-like reflexes off a tricky netcord:

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t59v5PT_5Ks]

Nadal seemed very excited with is performance against Isner:

TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images

Serena Williams withdrew from Rome due to a right elbow injury, but it sounded like more of a precautionary withdrawal. While her serve wasn't at its best in her opening win against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, she still looked sharp:

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCwpD31S18c]

Fabio Fognini has played some inspired tennis so far in Rome, which includes this grinding rally against Grigor Dimitrov in the third round:

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VZ_3vCmTDE]

Nicolas Almagro forced Novak Djokovic to go three sets in his opening round, thanks to go-for-broke shots like this:

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktiB_-w3sfY]

Andy Murray quickly dispeled any notion that he rules the clay:

If you haven't seen the WTA Emoji video yet, take the time to do so now:

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4PrLASRv58]

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