Rome: Novak Djokovic beat king of clay Rafael Nadal in a thrilling 7-5, 7-6 (4) quarter-finals of the Rome Masters in the Italian capital yesterday.
Novak Djokovic reacts after winning a point against Rafael Nadal. Pic/AFP
The World No 1 saved five set points in the second set to reach the semi-finals with his seventh successive win over the World No 5 Nadal.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Andy Murray remained on course for a maiden Rome Masters final after overcoming Belgium's David Goffin 6-1, 7-5 yesterday to book only his second career semi-final in the Italian capital.
“I'm being rewarded now for the work I’ve put in on the surface,” said Murray, who has now reached the latter stages of his last three tournaments on clay.
Murray in semis too
Murray lost to seven-time Rome champion Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters last month and was defeated by World No 1 Novak Djokovic in the final of the Madrid Masters last week.
He added: “I didn’t necessarily expect to do well on these surfaces over the past couple of years... but I deserve it, because I've worked hard for it.” Murray was given a brief shock when Goffin, the 12th seed, broke his serve in the opening game.
The Belgian had underlined his ambitions for the tournament with a stunning 6-0, 6-0 whitewash of Czech Tomas Berdych on Thursday.