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Sports

May 20, 2017

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Halep to meet Bertens in Rome semis

Halep to meet Bertens in Rome semis

ROME: Romanian sixth seed Simona Halep and Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens will face off in the semi-finals of the Rome Masters on Saturday (today) after coming through their respective quarter-final matches.

Halep surged into the last-four for the third time after a 6-2, 6-4 win over Estonian qualifier Anett Kontaveit.

Halep, who reached the French Open final in 2014, now meets Bertens after the 15th seed, ranked 20th in the world, ousted Australian qualifier Daria Gavrilova 6-3, 6-3.

American Venus Williams, seeded ninth, faces Spanish third seed Garbine Muguruza for a place in the last-four, while Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, seeded eighth, faces Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova.

Meanwhile, unseeded American John Isner battled into the Rome Masters semis with a 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 7-6 (7/2) win over Croatian sixth seed Marin Cilic.

Isner, ranked 24th in the world, reached the last-eight on Thursday when he upset world number three Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland 7-6 (7/1), 6-4.

Second seed Novak Djokovic said he is on track to raise his game for the French Open after reaching the Rome Masters quarter-finals on Thursday with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.

Djokovic, beaten in the final by Britain’s Andy Murray last year, will now face Juan Martin del Potro in the quarters after the unseeded Argentinian’s 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 win over Japanese seventh seed Kei Nishikori.

Rafael Nadal, enjoying his best season on clay in two years, booked a quarter-final clash against Austria’s Dominic Thiem, whom he beat in the Madrid Masters final last week, after an “aggressive” 6-3, 6-4 win over American Jack Sock, seeded 13th.

The Spaniard, a seven-time champion here and now on a 17-match claycourt winning streak, also swept Djokovic aside in the semis in Madrid.

But French Open champion Djokovic said: “I’m getting closer, I feel like today’s match was one of the better ones I’ve played on clay this season, and in the past couple of months.

Thiem saved three match points in beating Sam Querrey 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7).

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