Djokovic moves up a gear to reach Rome final

Sat May 16, 2015 1:42pm EDT
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By Jacopo Lo Monaco

ROME May 16 (Reuters) - For the first time this week Novak Djokovic needed only two sets to triumph at the Rome Masters, beating Spain's David Ferrer 6-4 6-4 as he reached the final to close in on a 24th Masters 1000 title.

The world number one will face Roger Federer or Stanislas Wawrinka in Sunday's final at the Foro Italico where he will be bidding for a fourth title in this event.

In the women's tournament there was better fortune for a Spanish player with Carla Suarez Navarro defeating Romania's Simona Halep 2-6 6-3 7-5 to reach her ninth career final.

Suarez Navarro next meets twice Rome champion Maria Sharapova who downed Russian qualifier Daria Gavrilova 7-5 6-3.

Djokovic's winning streak now stands at 21 matches but he has been made to work hard this week with close-fought victories over Nicolas Almagro, Thomaz Bellucci and Kei Nishikori.

He seemed to move up a level against Ferrer with a clinical display. The top seed needed two breaks of serve to clinch a ninth consecutive win over the Spaniard.

"I played the best match of the week," Djokovic told Sky Sports Italia. "I'm satisfied with the way I played and happy to be in another final in Rome."

Djokovic's only frustration was the state of the Centrale court and he repeatedly complained about the condition of the clay.   Continued...

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after winning his semi-final match against David Ferrer of Spain at the Rome Open tennis tournament in Rome, Italy, May 16, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini