|Djokovic, Nadal enter quarters| ROME, Sept 19: Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have entered the quarterfinals of the Italian Open with straight-set wins in their respective third-round matches. On Friday, Djokovic defeated his fellow Serb Filip Krajinovic 7-6 (7), 6-3 to enter the last eight of the tournament for the 14th straight year.
Spain’s Rafael Nadal plays a return to Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic during their Italian Open match in Rome. – AP/PTI
“It was definitely one of the longest sets I think I have ever played,” said Djokovic as per the ATP Tour website after the match. “Never easy, I think, emotionally to play against someone who is one of my best friends for many years... I think the first set could have gone a different way, as well. “Fortunately for me it went my way and that allowed me to swing through the ball a bit more in the second set. Maybe physically and mentally, he dropped a level and I used my opportunities and capitalised to win in straight sets.”
In other Round of 16 match, nine-time champion Nadal cruised past 2019 Monte-Carlo Masters finalist Dusan Lajovic 6-1, 6-3 to reach his 15th Rome quarterfinal.
“I played at I think a very positive level of tennis. Of course it needs to keep improving. I need to keep working on a couple of things that are not coming automatically. But I can’t ask for more,” Nadal said. “It was another great evening for me against another good opponent. Can’t complain at all. Much better than what I expected.” – IANS