Djokovic beats Bautista Agut to reach Italian Open QFs

Rufina Vignone
Mag 20, 2017

ROME (AP) - Rafael Nadal's preparations for the French Open continued apace as he swept past 13th-seeded Jack Sock 6-3, 6-4 Thursday to ease into the Italian Open quarterfinals and extend his winning streak to 17 matches.

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.

Second-seeded Djokovic next plays Juan Martin del Potro after the Argentine ousted seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori 7-6 (4), 6-3. "Time TBD", said a statement on the tournament's Twitter account.

"I am here to try my best".

The Swiss was broken just once across the two sets but could not make inroads into the powerful serve of his towering opponent, saving match points in vain late in the second before bowing out.

"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.

"I think I can play a little bit more aggressive than what I did tonight".

An even bigger shock occurred as world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka - who has endured a nightmare build-up to the second Grand Slam of the year - lost to big-serving American John Isner 6-7 (1-7) 4-6.

"It's coming at the right time, we're getting closer to Roland Garros". I'm happy I reached the semi-finals in Madrid, which has been my best result this year.

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 a year ago.

It was his first claycourt win against a top-10 player at an ATP Tour event and his reward is a clash with Croatia's Marin Cilic who beat David Goffin 6-3 6-4.

Zverev, the 16th seed who is the youngest player in the ATP top 50, will meet the victor of the clash between Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic, to be played later Thursday.

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