Fired-up Novak Djokovic enters last eight in Rome, Stan Wawrinka out

Rome Masters Djokovic starts with Rome win, Sharapova snubbed

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. A win against the Austrian will make it 18 consecutive match wins for the Spaniard.

"I feel like today's match was one of the better ones that I have played this clay-court season, but also in the past couple of months", Djokovic said, according to ATPWorldTour.com.

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

"It's coming at the right time, we're getting closer to Roland Garros".

After Novak Djokovic's impressive win at the Qatar Open earlier in January, the Serbian player has not won any titles, and we are nearly halfway into 2017. "He hit the ball hard with a lot of spin", said Nadal.

Murray's best performance was winning the Dubai title in February, but he looks to be struggling to replicate the blistering displays that carried him to the number one spot at the end of past year.

He swore angrily at the umpire immediately after the game and was clearly frustrated by a rule that is becoming more and more contentious every week. "Dominic is the player that is having probably more success now on clay, no?" "But in general terms I am happy with the way that I played, obviously".

Meanwhile, unseeded American John Isner battled into the Rome Masters semis with a 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 7-6 (7/2) win over Croatian sixth seed Marin Cilic.

"When you lack confidence and rhythm, against opponents like (Benoit) Paire and Isner, it s not ideal", said Wawrinka, who had beaten Frenchman Paire 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday.

Zverev will next face fifth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic, who defeated Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2.

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.

"I'm just really trying to take it match by match and setting these really small goals", the 21-year-old Kontaveit said.

Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova, the seventh seed, won't be going so far after she exited following a 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 defeat to Australian qualifier Daria Gavrilova.

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