Nadal beats Sock to reach Italian Open quarterfinals

  • Nadal beats Sock to reach Italian Open quarterfinals

Nadal beats Sock to reach Italian Open quarterfinals

"I'm going out there against the No. 3 player in the world". I served well and took my chances when I had them.

"Yeah, he has been a bit of a thorn in my side". 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.

Bedene, who was born in Slovenia and obtained British citizenship two years ago, frustrated Djokovic for long stretches with his speed, keeping the ball in play and whipping surprising winners.

Nadal extended his current winning streak on clay to 17 matches with a 6-3 6-4 win over American Jack Sock in their quarter-final.

Thiem also beat an American but had to save two match points in a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7) victory over Sam Querrey.

But French Open champion Djokovic said: "I m getting closer, I feel like today s match was one of the better ones I ve played on clay this season, and in the past couple of months".

Bautista Agut - on his favoured surface - made nothing easy for Djokovic but the Serbian No. 1 stood up to everything thrown at him to secure an important 6-4 6-4 win.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to to Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut during their match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Thursday, May 18, 2017.

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.

"I would love to be able to continue playing at this level and even higher as the tournament progresses".

Djokovic, beaten in the final by Britain's Andy Murray a year ago, will now face either Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro or Japanese seventh seed Kei Nishikori.

"It was wonderful", the Argentine said of the crowd support while defeating Nishikori. I enjoyed the crowd a lot. I'm happy I reached the semi-finals in Madrid, which has been my best result this year. "That's incredible for all the players".

Home favorite Fabio Fognini, who saw off top-seeded Andy Murray on Tuesday, lost 6-3, 6-3 to Alexander Zverev, who will play fifth-seeded Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals after the Canadian beat Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-2.

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