Djokovic beats Bautista Agut to reach Italian Open QFs

World number two Novak Djokovic beats Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 6-4 in the last 16 of the Italian Open.

John Isner, of the US, serves the ball to Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka during their match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Thursday, May 18, 2017. "But I'll keep fighting". "I don't have an easy draw here, a tough one", Nadal said. Fabio is someone who plays well here. "So will be another tough battle tomorrow".

Nadal has been back to his imperious best in this clay-court season, winning in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid as he eyes yet another French Open crown.

"I played a more aggressive game and I'm serving better. It shows me I'm on the right path", he said. "But it's obvious that I am playing well and I should be very happy with the way that I am doing things".

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.

Novak Djokovic must return on Saturday to finish the job in his Internazionali BNL d'Italia quarter-final against Juan Martin del Potro after rain forced an early end to play on Friday.

Both men moved through their opening three service games without facing any danger of being broken but it was Djokovic who struck first blood for a 4-3 lead.

Bautista Agut could have gone 5-4 up in the second set after Djokovic appeared to send the ball long but the umpire said it was in.

"It's a situation for me where I'm going out there against the No. 3 player in the world". Maybe I have a little bit less to lose than he does. That's what happened today.

Isner's quarterfinal opponent will be another big server, sixth-seed Marin Cilic, who eliminated ninth-seeded David Goffin of Belgium 6-3, 6-4.

Fifth seed Milos Raonic overcame Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-2 and will face Alexander Zverev, a 6-3 6-3 victor over Andy Murray's conqueror Fabio Fognini, in the last eight.

Konta had won her previous three meetings against Williams but the American dominated the first set.

"I felt that the start of the season went really well for me this year", Djokovic said at a press conference from Foro Italico where he will play the Masters 1000 tournament in Rome, according to the ATP official website. The Czech next faces eighth-seeded Elina Svitolina, who recovered to beat Mona Barthel 3-6, 6-0, 6-0.

Djokovic recently broke off his association with his coaching staff, playing in Madrid accompanied on the bench by his brother, Marko, and he said on Monday that he has not yet decided who will be his next coach.

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