ROME: Holder Novak Djokovic staged a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 comeback overArgentine Juan Monaco to earn a place in the quarter-finals at awindy Rome Masters on Thursday. With gusts of wind making life a challenge on the red clay, topseed Djokovic had to smash a racquet into bits to get himself goingafter losing the opening set to ‘Pico’, the best friend of RafaelNadal on the ATP tour. The outburst came after the Argentine had finally converted a fifthset point in the blustery conditions. The Serb went down a break in the second set but got it back andthen broke again to level the match at a set apiece. Hitachi Diagnostic Tool
It took a break for 5-3 in the final set to put Djokovic intoposition to close out victory on his second match point. “It was difficult to play in the wind, but it was the same forboth,” said Djokovic. “He was able to deal with the conditionsbetter at the start, but after a set and a half I started to playbetter and change my strategy. “I never expected an easy match against him on his favouritesurface. I felt I started hitting the ball better. Copying Machines
I found myrhythm.” Djokovic finished with 16 winners and 40 unforced errors, a symptomof the windy conditions that have bothered players all week. He now leads Monaco 6-0 in head-to-head matches as the pair playedfor the first time on the South American’s preferred surface. Rome is one of the four Masters 1000 titles that Djokovic has wonin multiple editions, along with Indian Wells, Miami and Canada. Spanish sixth seed David Ferrer knocked out French 11th seed GillesSimon 6-0, 7-6 (7/5), while Madrid finallist Tomas Berdych, seededseventh, reached the last eight as he overcame Spaniard NicolasAlmagro 7-6 (7/3), 6-3. China Bmw Car Keys
On the women’s side, top seed Victoria Azarenka faces a French Openfitness battle after a right shoulder injury forced her to withdrawbefore her third-round match against Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova. With just 10 days until the start of the French Open, theBelarusian will hope for a quick recovery ahead of her bid for asecond straight Grand Slam title. Wimbledon winner and fourth seed Petra Kvitova battled to overcomeRomanian Sorona Cirstea 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, while German 12th seedAngelique Kerber beat German compatriot Julia Goerges 6-4, 6-1. Italy’s Flavia Pennetta continued to thrill home fans, crushingPetra Cetkovska 6-0, 6-1.
Meanwhile, the Williams sisters produced near-simultaneous wins,finishing within minutes of each other as ninth seed Serena beatSpain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 6-1 and unseeded Venus upsetAustralian fifth seed Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-3. Women’s third round results: Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) bt Victoria Azarenka (BLR) walkover Angelique Kerber (GER) bt Julia Goerges (GER) 6-4, 6-1 Petra Kvitova (CZE) bt Sorana Cirstea (ROM) 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 Serena Williams (USA) bt Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 6-3, 6-1 Flavia Pennetta (ITA) bt Petra Cetkovska (CZE) 6-0, 6-1 Venus Williams (USA) bt Samantha Stosur (AUS) 6-4, 6-3 Men’s third round results: Novak Djokovic (SRB) bt Juan Monaco (ARG) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 Tomas Berdych (CZE) bt Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 David Ferrer (ESP) bt Gilles Simon (FRA) 6-0, 7-6 (7/5) – AFP/de.