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Dhaka Tribune

Raonic cruises to Rome semis

Update : 16 May 2014, 08:26 PM

Canadian eighth seed Milos Raonic moved into the semi-finals of the Rome Masters with a commanding 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 quarter-final win over Frenchman Jeremy Chardy on Friday.

Chardy had eliminated Swiss fourth seed Roger Federer on Wednesday 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6).

But after seeing the unseeded Frenchman fighting back to level by winning a close second set, Raonic regained control of the match in a largely one-sided third set to advance.

The Canadian, considered an outside bet for the French Open later this month, will now meet the winner of the quarter-final clash between second seed Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer, seeded fifth. Raonic admits his claycourt game is improving, but said his next challenge would prove difficult whichever player he met. He added: “Both guys, difficult matches. I played David twice and Novak once.

Earlier, Italy’s number 10 seed Sara Errani benefited from huge crowd support as she stunned China’s number two seed Li Na 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.

Errani has now made the semis for the second consecutive year, keeping her on course to become the first Italian woman since Raffaella Reggi 29 years ago to win the tournament when it was held in Taranto. The Italian will meet the winner of the quarter-final between Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, seeded six, and Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, who is the third seed.

Errani was joined in the last four by Ana Ivanovic, although the Serbian 11th seed had to dig deep throughout a thrilling encounter with Carla Suarez Navarro before finally beating the Spaniard, seeded 13, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

Ivanovic will now meet either defending champion and top seed Serena Williams of the United States or China’s Zhang Shuai.

Rafael Nadal continued to search for his best clay form, surviving a shaky start on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the ATP-WTA Rome Masters and a date with Andy Murray.

The top seed beat Russian Mikhail Youzhny, winning 12 of the last 13 games in a 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-3 win which took almost three hours.

Murray and Nadal have not played each other for more than two and a half years, when Murray beat the Spaniard in a 2011 Tokyo final.

Less than 24 hours after being severely tested by Gilles Simon, Nadal found himself in trouble against Youzhny, who last won a set against the world number one back in 2008. After spending 73 minutes in losing the opener, Nadal finally found enough form to take the victory at a tournament where he is looking to win for the eighth time. 

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