Djokovic Advances To Rome Semi-Finals

STARNBERG, September 19, 2020

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic ended the fantastic run of German qualifier Dominik Koepfer, winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 on Saturday afternoon to reach the semi-finals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.

The top seed of the ATP Masters 1000 event converted six of his 21 break point opportunities to prevail after two hours and 10 minutes.

“Dominik has a good pop on the serve, so you have to guess,” said Djokovic. “He steps in when he is feeling the ball, he steps in on both the forehand and backhand and moves well. I think his game is really ideal for this surface and him reaching the quarter-finals proves he is in good form.”

Djokovic will face Casper Ruud for a spot in the championship match. The 21-year-old Norwegian overcame fourth seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) in just under three hours to reach his first Masters 1000 semi-final.

Schwartzman stuns Nadal

Later in the evening, Denis Shapovalov fought past Grigor Dimitrov from Bulgaria 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. The No. 12 seed from Canada won 54 per cent of the total points played and will next take on Diego Schwartzman from Argentina, who upset No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal 6-2, 7-5.

“Grigor’s a player I’ve looked up to from juniors. I really love the way he plays,” Shapovalov said on court after his win. “He’s beaten me twice before, so it’s really nice to get the win and it’s a huge step for my career.”

Schwartzman stunned nine-time Rome champion Nadal after two hours and four minutes. Entering the match, the Spaniard had won all nine of their previous meetings, including 22 of their 24 sets.

“For sure it’s my best match ever,” Schwartzman said. “I played a few times against the three big champions in tennis. I never beat them until today. I’m very happy.”