close
This ad will auto close in 10 seconds

Rome Masters: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal cruise into quarter-finals

Rafael Nadal, enjoying his best season on clay in two years, booked a quarter-final clash against Austria`s Dominic Thiem, whom he beat in the Madrid Masters final last week, after an "aggressive" 6-3, 6-4 win over American Jack Sock, seeded 13th.

Rome Masters: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal cruise into quarter-finals

Rome: Second seed Novak Djokovic said he is on track to raise his game for the French Open after reaching the Rome Masters quarter-finals Thursday with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Spain`s Roberto Bautista Agut.

Djokovic, beaten in the final by Britain`s Andy Murray last year, will now face Juan Martin del Potro in the quarters after the unseeded Argentinian`s 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 win over Japanese seventh seed Kei Nishikori.

Rafael Nadal, enjoying his best season on clay in two years, booked a quarter-final clash against Austria`s Dominic Thiem, whom he beat in the Madrid Masters final last week, after an "aggressive" 6-3, 6-4 win over American Jack Sock, seeded 13th.

The Spaniard, a seven-time champion in Rome and now on a 17-match claycourt winning streak, also swept Djokovic aside in the semis in Madrid.

But French Open champion Djokovic said: "I`m getting closer, I feel like today`s match was one of the better ones I`ve played on clay this season, and in the past couple of months.

"It`s coming at the right time, we`re getting closer to Roland Garros. All the players are looking to raise their game for Paris.

"I`ve been doing my best to optimise my game to get it to the highest possible level at the moment ... right now, as days are passing by, I feel more comfortable on the court, more confident hitting the ball."

It kept Djokovic on track to meet Nadal in the semis after the Spaniard ended Sock`s hopes in 1hr 20min.

"It was a good victory against Jack, he`s a tough opponent. He hit the ball hard with a lot of spin," said Nadal.

"I played a more aggressive game and I`m serving better. I can play a bit more aggressive than the way I played tonight, but overall I`m happy.

"Tomorrow I`m up against Dominic, he`s a player who`s having more success on clay so it will be another tough battle."

Thiem saved three match points in beating Sam Querrey 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7).

Another playing looking to up his game for the French Open is 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka but the world number three said a lack of confidence was to blame for his shock 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 defeat to big-serving American John Isner, who is ranked 24th in the world.

"When you lack confidence and rhythm, against opponents like (Benoit) Paire and Isner, it`s not ideal," said Wawrinka, who had beaten Frenchman Paire 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday.

"I had some chances to break him at the start of the match, but I didn`t push him hard enough.

"My game and my physical condition are there. But confidence, you can lose it quickly. But I`ll keep fighting."

Isner, meeting Wawrinka for the first time in six years, will now meet Marin Cilic after the sixth seed from Croatia beat Belgian David Goffin, the ninth seed, 6-3, 6-4.

In the women`s tournament, Venus Williams overcame determined Briton Johanna Konta to win their third-round clash 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

In the absence of sister and defending champion Serena, she will now meet Spain`s Garbine Muguruza on Friday for a place in the semis and a possible match-up with Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova.

Williams, competing in Rome because "I still have a lot to give", was more circumspect about her chances of emulating Serena by winning Roland Garros.

"It`s so different when you`re talking about it or when you`re playing it," she said.

"When you`re playing it, it`s a lot of work. There is not even one point that is given."

Russia`s Svetlana Kuznetsova, the seventh seed, suffered a 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 defeat to Australian qualifier Daria Gavrilova.

Gavrilova will meet Dutch 15th seed Kiki Bertens after she beat unseeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova 7-6 (7/3), 6-1.

From Zee News

0 Comment - Join the Discussions