Spain’s Rafa Nadal battles past qualifier Djokovic in Rome Masters

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Nadal at Rome Masters

Rafael Nadal battled back from a terrible opening set to secure his place in the Rome Masters quarter-finals with a 1-6 7-5 6-4 win over Ernests Gulbis. Six-times former champion, Nadal will next face fellow countryman, the fourth seeded David Ferrer.

In direct contrast, world number one Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer both made short work of their third round matches, needing just an hour each to reach the last eight. Federer will next face unseeded Jerzy Janowicz, after he beat ninth-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet 3-6 7-6(2) 6-4.

But seventh seed Juan Martin Del Potro was sent crashing out of the tournament after a dull performance, beaten 6-4 7-6(3) by Frenchman Benoit Paire.

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Paire will next face Marcel Granollers after the Spaniard survived a second set onslaught to beat Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4 1-6 7-5.

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