Djokovic in semifinals


Top-seeded Novak Djokovic dropped a set before fighting off German qualifier Dominik Koepfer 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the semifinals of the Rome Masters on Saturday.

The Serbian next plays Norway’s Casper Ruud, who earlier battled past Italian fourth seed Matteo Berrettini 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5).

Meanwhile on Friday, Rafael Nadal swept aside Dusan Lajovic 6-1, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals as he warms up for the final Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.

In the women’s section, top seed Simona Halep took the first semifinal 6-2, 2-0 when Kazakh rival Yulia Putintseva retired during their match on Saturday.

The results: Men: Quarterfinals: Casper Ruud bt Matteo Berrettini 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5); Novak Djokovic bt Dominik Koepfer 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Third round: Dominik Koepfer bt Lorenzo Musetti 6-4, 6-0; Diego Schwartzman bt Hubert Hurkacz 3-6, 6-2, 6-4; Rafael Nadal bt Dusan Lajovic 6-1, 6-3.

Women: Quarterfinals: Simona Halep bt Yulia Putintseva 6-2, 2-0 retd; Garbine Muguruza bt Victoria Azarenka 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

Third round: Putintseva bt Elena Rybakina 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-2; Elina Svitolina bt Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6(6), 6-4.

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