Djokovic sets up Del Potro Rome clash

Lynette Rowe
May 19, 2017

Novak Djokovic reached the Rome Masters quarter-finals with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut.

Djokovic got past Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-4, 6-4. Overall, it was a good performance from the Serb, who likes to play here much more than in Madrid, and he faced only two break points, losing serve once while he was in the lead during the second set.

The second set proved to be tougher for the 29-year-old as, after breaking Bautista Agut in the third, his opponent pegged him back in the sixth to take three games on the spin.

Both players have hit the ground running in 2017, with Federer adding the Indian Wells and Miami Open titles to this year's Australian Open crown while Nadal, who lost to the Swiss in the Melbourne Park final, has won in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid.

"There is always room to improve", Nadal said.

"If I don't want to win every match I play, win Grand Slams and be No. 1 in the world, then I wouldn't be playing tennis professionally", he said.

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Another playing looking to up his game for the French Open is 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka but the world number three from Switzerland 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.

"I felt that the start of the season went really well for me this year, winning in Doha". Maybe I have a little bit less to lose than he does. That's what happened today.

In the women's draw, Venus Williams defeated Johanna Konta 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

Fifth seed Milos Raonic overcame Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-2 and will face Alexander Zverev, a 6-3 6-3 victor over Andy Murray's conqueror Fabio Fognini, in the last eight.

Chasing his fifth title in Rome - which would certainly be a fine 30th birthday present for Monday - Djokovic largely stood up well to the challenging long rallies against the clay-court specialist and wrapped up the first set 6-4. "It's one of my favorite places on earth, so that's one of the reasons why I have always come here". The Czech next faces eighth-seeded Elina Svitolina, who recovered to beat Mona Barthel 3-6, 6-0, 6-0. Kontaveit beat 16th-seeded Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-1, 6-1 to set up a quarterfinal against Madrid Open champion Simona Halep. "It was like a soccer match for me". First round: Anette Kontaveit bt Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-4; Ekatarina Makarova bt Roberta Vinci 6-2, 6-1; Kiki Bertens bt Monica Nicolescu 2-6, 6-2, 6-1; Daria Gavrilova bt Madison Keys 2-6, 7-5, 7-5.

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