World number two Novak Djokovic outlasted David Ferrer to reach the Rome Masters semifinals. The Serbian star completed a gruelling 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win over the Spaniard.
“It was the most physical match I had on clay this year,” said Djokovic. “I am really glad to overcome this challenge because David is a great competitor. I respect him a lot. We all know how good his record is on clay – the best after Nadal. Knowing that I am going to work for every single point of the match, coming out as a winner gives me a lot of satisfaction and confidence.”
Djokovic will attempt to reach the final at this ATP Masters 1000 for the fifth time in his career but he will have to go past Milos Raonic on Saturday’s semifinal match.
As for Ferrer, it is back in the drawing board as he prepares for the Roland Garros tournament. The Spaniard reached the final in Paris last year but lost to compatriot Rafael Nadal.
“It was a close match with really good rallies,” said Ferrer. “I had my chance in the third set, with 15/30, and I missed a ball with my backhand. Nole played better in the important moments and didn’t [make] mistakes.”