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Novak Djokovic beat Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, at the 2017 Italian Open in Rome on Thursday. Djokovic won on a day when third seed Stan Wawrinka crashed out after a straight-sets defeat to unseeded American John Isner.

Rafael Nadal was just as impressive as Djokovic after beating American Jack Sock, 6-3, 6-4, late on. Nadal will now meet Dominic Thiem in the quarter-final after he survived a tense, three-set tussle with Sam Querrey. Thiem won the third set on a tiebreak but only after saving three match points.

Elsewhere, Italian Fabio Fognini, conqueror of world No. 1 Andy Murray on Tuesday, was sent packing by Germany’s Alexander Zverev. Meanwhile, Milos Raonic beat Tomas Berdych, 6-3, 6-2, and Marin Cilic won in straight sets against Belgian David Goffin.

Nadal was a comfortable winner late in the day.

Nadal was a comfortable winner late in the day.Gareth Copley/Getty Images

As for Djokovic, he is now ready for a quarter-final clash with Juan Martin del Potro after the Argentinian beat Kei Nishikori in back-to-back sets.

The women’s bracket saw Venus Williams upset British No. 1 Johanna Konta. Spaniard Garbine Muguruza awaits in the quarter-finals after beating Julia Goerges.

Simona Halep is also through to the last eight after beating Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova after dropping just five games over three sets. Anett Kontaveit followed beating World No. 1 Angelique Kerber on Wednesday by getting past Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

Here are the full scores and results from Thursday’s matches, per the ATP World Tour official site. The same source has the updated schedule for Friday, including Isner’s quarter-final against Cilic.

Williams outlasted Konta.

Williams outlasted Konta.Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press/Associated Press

     

Recap

Djokovic overpowered Agut from the start. He boomed six aces, while also winning 32 points on first serve. The Serb also converted three of seven break points to disrupt Agut’s rhythm.

Overall, it was an accomplished display from Djokovic to ensure his 11th-straight quarter-final appearance in Italy. ESPN’s Brad Gilbert feels the world No. 2 is regaining his best form just in time for the French Open:


Nadal was in cruise control as he took the first set by three games. The Spaniard broke serve twice and won 14 of 16 points off his own first serve.

Djokovic and Nadal winning wasn’t much of a surprise, but Isner seeing off Wawrinka did rate as a shock. History said Wawrinka should have made easy work of his opponent, per Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times:


However, Wawrinka was unnerved by Isner’s powerful service game. The latter hit a staggering 19 aces during the match to keep Wawrinka on his heels.

Isner survived a tough tiebreak to claim the first set 7-6 (7-1) before establishing greater control in the second. The second set featured 11 of those aces, as Wawrinka failed to take any of his three break points.

Gilbert relayed how dominance of the service game was the key to Isner’s upset:


Isner’s wasn’t the only notable win, as Zverev refused to be unsettled by Fognini’s heroics against Murray. Instead, the young German broke serve four times, while also winning 15 points off second serve.

Still just 20, Zverev became one of the youngest players ever to reach the last eight in Rome, according to ATP Media Info:


Zverev has now set up a last-eight meeting with Cilic after the latter beat Goffin in convincing style. There were similarities with Isner’s win as Cilic saved three of four break points to control the service game.

Raonic was even more impressive against Berdych, hitting six aces and breaking serve three times.

Cilic, Raonic, Zverev and Isner going through showed how a comfort on clay is an overrated factor in success at Rome, per Rothenberg:


It’s a similar story for a top-10 ranking after Del Potro eliminated seventh-ranked Nishikori. It was a rare success against a top-10 opponent for Del Potro:


It’s a mixed bag in the last eight with big guns Nadal and Djokovic still in but the field also having a different look after Wawrinka and Murray have been dumped out.

All scoring information, per the ATP official website.



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