Djokovic beats Agut to reach Italian Open QFs

Nadal and Djokovic faced each other the semi-finals of the Madrid Open last week which the former won in straight sets on the way to the title.

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

Djokovic, a four-time champion in Rome, will meet either Pablo Carreno Busta or Roberto Bautista Agut next.

Second-seeded Djokovic next plays Juan Martin del Potro after the Argentine ousted seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Speaking to ATP's website, Ferrer, who turned pro in 2002, said: "The number indicates that I have been a very consistent player over many years, and many matches".

"I am here to try my best".

The 27-year-old started the match in positive fashion with a break in the opening game but handed that advantage straight back in the next before the pair shared the following 10 games to take the set into a tie-break.

"I have been doing my best to optimise my game and get it to the highest possible level", said Djokovic, who surprisingly parted company with his coaching staff earlier this month. "But in general terms I am happy with the way that I played, obviously".

In a shock to Maria Sharapova, the French tennis federation refused to grant the five-time Grand Slam victor and twice Roland Garros champion a wild card to either the main draw or qualifying.

Isner's quarterfinal opponent will be another big server, sixth-seed Marin Cilic, who eliminated ninth-seeded David Goffin of Belgium 6-3, 6-4. "I went out there with the belief that, if I played well and executed my game plan, that I could walk off that court with a win".

The Austrian fought off a double match point at 4-6 in the tiebreaker, then thwarted a third match point at 6-7 before surviving.

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

The 20-year-old will now take on fifth seed Milos Raonic, a 6-3, 6-2 victor against the 12th seeded Tomas Berdych.

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

  • Julie Sanders