Del Potro And Djokovic will Clash in Rome’s Quarterfinals

del-potro-atpArgentine Juan Martin del Potro will have a tough test on Friday to prove that he’s a serious candidate to win the Rome Masters 1000, when he faces Serbian Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals.

On Thursday, Del Potro showed one of his best versions to prevail 7-6 and 6-3 against Japanese Kei Nishikori, number 9 in the ATP ranking, to advance to the quarterfinals against Djokovic.

Del Potro, world’s number 34th, continued his winning ways against Nishikori, a rival he has defeated in five of the six previous clashes. The Argentine won today’s match in one hour and 54 minutes.

Del Potro, who returned to the Foro Italico tournament this year after a four-year absence, equaled his best performance in Rome. For the first time since 2009 Del Potro managed to be reach the best eight of the Rome Masters.

After winning the first set in a tense tiebreak that finished 7-4, Del Potro sentenced the match in the second set, after breaking Nishikori’s serve once to win it 6-3.

In the next round, Del Potro will find out how much his game has improved when he faces Djokovic, the world’s number 2. The Serb qualified this afternoon thanks to a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Spaniard Roberto Bautista, ranked 20th in the world.

The Serbian, who is used to winning in Rome, reached the quarterfinals of the tournament for the eleventh consecutive year. Del Potro will need to reverse a negative trend against Nole, who has defeated him 9 out of the 13 times they have played. In Clay ‘Nole’ has a 2-0 record against Del Potro and is looking to continue that streak to reach the semifinals of the Rome Masters.

On the other hand, Rafael Nadal continues to demonstrate that he is the player to beat when playing on clay as he has yet to lose a match this year. This time the Spaniard beat American Jack Sock without much difficulty in straight sets (6-3, 6-4) and qualified to the quarterfinals of the tournament in Rome.

The superiority of Nadal, a seven-time winner in Rome, was evident from the start as he led the first set 3-0 in just 14 minutes.

 

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