Rafael Nadal defeated Denis Shapovalov 6-4 6-1, and in press conference he was asked which was the biggest difference today than their previous meeting at 2017 Montreal when the Canadian won in the third set tie-break.
The Spaniard has to win in Rome in order to get the number 1 ranking back from Roger Federer after the Swissman managed to get on top of the charts following Nadal's loss in Madrid.
Nadal, who hasn't won the Italian Open since 2013, will next face Fabio Fognini, who beat Peter Gojowczyk 6-4 6-4 to reach his first quarterfinal in 11 appearances at his home tournament.
The four-time Rome champion is making his way back this year after a six-month injury absence before the Australian Open, which was followed by elbow surgery. The Austrian was stunned at the Foro Italico by Fabio Fognini, losing 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 to the Italian.
The Serbia will next play Spaniard Albert Ramos Vinolas who needed three sets to get past American eighth seed John Isner 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/5). I don't know how many mistakes I made, but not many. The Madrid loss was clearly an aberration and Rafa is definitely looking determined to head to Paris with an eighth title on claycourts of Rome. But with my serve, I didn't lose many points.
Nadal will next face Canada's Denis Shapovalov, who faced a grueling test in battling past Dutchman Robin Haase 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 6-3 in almost two and a half hours. "That was the way that I want to play".
Goffin got through when Juan Martin del Potro had to retire at 6-2, 4-5 with a left leg injury he sought treatment for earlier in the match.
Halep now needs to progress further than No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki to stay in top spot.
Jelena Ostapenko, preparing to defend her title at Roland Garros, rallied past Johanna Konta 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 and will meet three-time Rome champion Maria Sharapova or Daria Gavrilova.
The Romanian, a finalist in Rome a year ago, is on her way to holding on to top spot as she next plays France's Caroline Garcia who dumped out US Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-1, 7-6 (9/7).
The victor will play Anett Kontaveit, who ousted 1999 victor Venus Williams 6-2, 7-6.
Kontaveit, who also beat Williams last week in Madrid, next plays either second seed Wozniacki or Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova for a place in the semi-finals. He then stunned Madrid finalist Dominic Thiem, surviving a mid-match resurgence from the Austrian to advance a 6-4 1-6 6-3 victor.