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Djokovic beats del Potro to reach Italian Open semifinals

21 Mai 2017

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, the former four-time champion, was forced to finish his quarter-final over Juan Martin del Potro earlier in the day after their match was rained off late on Friday.

Defending French Open champion Muguruza's injury scare comes just days before her return to Roland Garros.

Everything that made Nadal the world's best at his peak appeared to be on display against the outclassed American, as that familiar combination of dynamic court coverage, dogged defence and booming top-spin forehand got the job done with relative ease.

Djokovic broke in the first game of the second and crucially held despite Thiem going to 0-30.

"It was my best performance of the year", said Djokovic after his 59-minute win over Thiem who had knocked out Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.

"I'm aware that the previous months haven't gone the way that I wished in terms of results, but I believe that the process had to happen".

"Also it was the first time for me to play on such a high level for three weeks or more, and today I paid a little bit the price for that".

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In the opening set, Zverev won 20 of his 22 points on serve to Isner's 19 of 29, and over the course of the match he struck more aces: 12 to 8.

"So I'm happy to be in the semis and playing John tomorrow, who I know very well from our Saddlebrook (Florida) days".

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

Zverev, 20, will face John Isner for a place in the final after the American beat Croatian Marin Cilic 7-6 (3) 2-6 7-6 (2).

The 6-4, 6-3 victory came after Thiem was beaten by the Spaniard in the Madrid Open final last week. Garbine Muguruza and Elina Svitolina will face one another for the second spot in Sunday's showpiece.

The 16th seed triumphed 6-4, 6-7, 6-1 in just under two hours.

Kontaveit beat 16th-seeded Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-1, 6-1 to set up a quarterfinal against Madrid Open champion Simona Halep.