Djokovic Takes Perfect Record Into Rome SF
Novak Djokovic extended his FedEx ATP Head2Head dominance against Juan Martin del Potro, prevailing past the Argentine 6-1, 6-4 on Saturday afternoon after rain and lightning delayed their quarter-final match on Friday at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.
Djokovic now leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 14-4 and has won their past three matches. The Serbian advances to his second consecutive ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final on clay, including his last-four run last week at the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to Nadal).
The World No. 2 will tackle double duty on Saturday: Djokovic will meet Austrian Dominic Thiem in the Rome semi-finals not before 8 p.m. local time.
The 29-year-old Serbian is an undefeated 4-0 against Thiem in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. Djokovic captured their only prior match-up on clay, last year at Roland Garros, in straight sets.
Another stat in Djokovic's favour: He has never lost a semi-final match in Rome. Against Thiem, Djokovic will be looking to improve to 8-0 in last-four matches in the Italian capital.
Djokovic and del Potro resumed their quarter-final match at 6-1, 1-2, with Djokovic serving, and the Belgrade native picked up where he stopped on Friday. Djokovic hammered del Potro's backhand, pinning the Argentine in his backhand corner and keeping him behind the baseline.
With del Potro serving at 2-2, 30/30, Djokovic engaged del Potro in a back-and-forth backhand exchange before lifting a backhand winner up the line. The next point, Djokovic followed a similar script but ended the point with a drop shot winner for the first break of the set. Djokovic served out the match to advance in one hour and 32 minutes.