ATP Tour

Djokovic seals semi spot

2014-05-16 19:58
Novak Djokovic (AFP)

Rome - Number two seed Novak Djokovic has set up a semi-final meeting with Canada's Milos Raonic at the Rome Masters after ousting Spain's David Ferrer 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 on Friday.

After dominating a hard-fought opening set, the Serbian was outplayed in the second and had to overcame a few wobbles on his way to wrapping up the match in 2hr 31min.

Djokovic, who admitted his dream is to finally win the French Open when it begins later this month, said Ferrer had put him through his paces.

"It's definitely the most physical match I've had on clay this year and I'm glad to overcome this challenge," said Djokovic, who missed the Madrid Open last week as he recovered from a wrist injury.

"Knowing I'm going to work for every point, and coming out as winner, gives me confidence and I'm really glad to win this match."

Earlier, Raonic claimed his last-four spot with a commanding 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 quarter-final win over Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.

Chardy had eliminated Swiss fourth seed Roger Federer on Wednesday 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6).

But after seeing the unseeded Frenchman fighting back to level by winning a close second set, Raonic regained control of the match in a largely one-sided third set to advance.

Raonic, considered an outside bet for the French Open later this month, said his next challenge would prove difficult whichever player he met.

"If I can control the centre of the court, if I can really be the one dictating and take care of my service it's going to be very important," he said.

Italy's number 10 seed Sara Errani, meanwhile, benefited from huge crowd support as she stunned China's number two seed Li Na 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to make the semis for the second consecutive year.

She is on course to become the first Italian woman since Raffaella Reggi 29 years ago to win the tournament when it was held in Taranto and next meets Serbian sixth seed Jelena Jankovic after she accounted for Agnieszka Radwanska, the third seed from Poland, 6-4, 6-4.

Errani and Jankovic were joined in the last four by Ana Ivanovic, although the Serbian 11th seed had to dig deep throughout a thrilling encounter with Carla Suarez Navarro before finally beating the Spaniard, seeded 13, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

Ivanovic will next meet either defending champion and top seed Serena Williams or China's Zhang Shuai, but with the American expected to prevail Ivanovic knows she faces a tough task.

"She has won a lot of tournaments on clay and she's good on any surface but it's always challenging to face such a good player," said Ivanovic.

The pick of Friday's matches will be the last eight clash between British seventh seed Andy Murray and top seed Rafael Nadal of Spain.

They are due to play on central court from 2100 local time (1900 GMT).

Former Wimbledon champion Murray won one of his two Grand Slam titles on clay at the American Open, but having skipped two months of the season due to injury the Scot is the clear underdog against the world number one.

Djokovic added: "Andy has had his ups and downs, especially because of injury.

"But he's a two-time Grand Slam champion and Olympic champion so you still have to consider him one of best players in the world.

"Nadal is the favourite to win tonight, but if Andy is feeling good and striking the ball well, anything is possible."

Results on Friday from the fifth day of the WTA/ATP Rome Masters tournament:

Men

Quarter-finals
Novak Djokovic (SRB x2) bt David Ferrer (ESP x5) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x12) bt Tommy Haas (GER x15) 6-2, ret'd
Milos Raonic (CAN x8) bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-3, 5-7, 6-2

Women

Quarter-finals
Jelena Jankovic (SRB x6) bt Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x3) 6-4, 6-4
Sara Errani (ITA x10) bt Li Na (CHN x2) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
Ana Ivanovic (SRB x11) bt Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP x13) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Querrey topples Anderson

36 minutes ago

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.