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Tennis: Djokovic, Nadal advance in Rome

September 19, 2020 11:21 IST
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Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during his third round match against compatriot Filip Krajinovic at the ATP Masters 1000 Italian Open at Foro Italico, Rome, on Friday

IMAGE: Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during his third round match against compatriot Filip Krajinovic at the ATP Masters 1000 Italian Open at Foro Italico, Rome, on Friday. Photograph: Riccardo Antimiani/Pool via Reuters

World number one Novak Djokovic on Friday welcomed the Italian government's decision to allow up to 1,000 spectators for the final two days of the Italian Open in Rome.

Professional sports events in Italy have been played without fans since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic but sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora said fans would be allowed to attend the closing stages of the tournament on Sunday and Monday.

Apart from the tennis masters, two Serie A matches this weekend and the Formula One race at Imola in November are also set to allow up to 1,000 spectators.

"I hope that's true. If we are going to have 1,000 people, it's better than no people," Djokovic told reporters after he advanced to the quarter-finals with a 7-6(7), 6-3 victory over fellow Serb Filip Krajinovic.

"We all miss the fans, and part of our professional careers in sport is playing in front of them and for them as well. So I'm really glad that that's going to happen."

Djokovic also said he hoped the matches would be played on centre court as he preferred the surface on the main court at the Foro Italico.

 

"I heard also they are considering to use Pietrangeli or NextGen court for semi-finals and finals," he added.

"I hope it's not the case, because the quality of the clay and quality of the centre court is, in my opinion, much better than the other courts."

Djokovic will take on German Dominik Koepfer, who ended Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti's dream run with a 6-4, 6-0 win. Musetti, 18, had beaten Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori in the first two rounds.

Second seed Rafael Nadal, seeking his 10th title in Rome, also advanced with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Dusan Lajovic to set up a clash with Argentine Diego Schwartzman.

In the women's field, top seeds Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova moved into the quarter-finals with straight sets victories while Yulia Putintseva beat Kazakh compatriot Elena Rybakina 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-2.

Bopanna-Shapovalov knocked out in Italian Open quarters

India's Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov of Canada bowed out of the men's doubles event of the Italian Open tennis tournament here after losing to the French duo of Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin in quarter-finals.

The unseeded Indo-Canadian pair fought hard before going down 6-4, 5-7, 7-10 to the French combination in the tie-breaker late on Friday.

Bopanna and Shapovalov had stunned top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia in the second round of the ATP Masters 1000 event.

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IPL 2020

IPL 2020