News Djokovic eliminates Del Potro to advance to Italian Open semis (Lead)

Djokovic eliminates Del Potro to advance to Italian Open semis (Lead)

Rome, May 20 (IANS) Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, world no. 2, qualified for the Italian Open semi-final after his victory over Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro here on Saturday.

The four-time Serbian champion defeated his Argentine rival 6-1, 6-4, after the game was suspended on Friday due to torrential rain, reports Efe.

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Djokovic is to play the semi-final later on Saturday against Austrian Dominic Thiem, world no. 7, who defeated Spaniard Rafael Nadal on Friday.

On Friday, the match was suspended due to heavy rain after Djokovic had grabbed a 6-1, 1-2 lead over the Argentine.

Djokovic lost his opening service game to fall down 0-1 but rebounded quickly to win the next six games and take the first set in 44 minutes.

The Serbian’s superior backhand was the difference in the opener, as he controlled the baseline rallies and struck 15 winners to the unseeded Argentine’s six (none from his weaker wing).

Del Potro held serve twice and Djokovic once at the start of the second set before a heavy downpour at the Foro Italico sent the players to the locker room at around 10:45 pm.

Djokovic, the dominant player in men’s tennis this time last year, is looking to get his game on track after a rough start to the 2017 season that included losses prior to the semi-final round at the Australian Open, Indian Wells and the Monte Carlo Masters.

–IANS
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