Rome, Italy (Sports Network) - World No. 1 and reigning champion Novak
Djokovic and five-time winner Rafael Nadal were a pair of quarterfinal victors
Friday at the $3.145 million Italian Open -- the fifth ATP World Tour Masters
1000 event of the year.
Djokovic straight-setted fifth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 6-1 in
a rematch of the 2008 Australian Open final, which was also won by the super
The reigning Aussie Open, U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion Djokovic dismissed
Tsonga in 1 hour, 23 minutes with the help of five service breaks on Day 6.
The two-time Italian Open champion Djokovic beat Nadal in last year's finale
and lost to Nadal in the 2009 title tilt here.
Djokovic will meet the Roger Federer-Andreas Seppi winner in Saturday's
The second-seeded world No. 3 Nadal handled seventh-seeded Czech slugger Tomas
Berdych 6-4, 7-5 on the red clay at Foro Italico.
The 20-time Masters titlist Nadal dismissed Berdych in just over two hours by
breaking the Czech three times while surrendering only one break at this
French Open tune-up.
Berdych was last week's Madrid Masters runner-up to Federer and lost to
Nadal in the 2010 Wimbledon finale.
Nadal has won five of the last seven Italian Open titles, including two
straight before losing to Djokovic in last year's marquee finale.
The six-time French Open champion Nadal's semifinal opponent on Saturday will
be sixth-seeded fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, who topped 16th-seeded Frenchman
Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 to reach his third Italian Open semi.
Nadal is 14-4 lifetime against Ferrer, including a victory in a final in
Barcelona last month and a victory in the Italian Open finale two years ago.
The 2012 Rome champ will earn $595,000.
The Sports Network