Nadal, Djokovic advance in Rome

May 12, 2011 at 9:22 PM
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ROME, May 12 (UPI) -- Two-time defending champion Rafael Nadal advanced past the third round Thursday and Novak Djokovic ran his 2011 record to 34-0 at the Italian Masters.

The tournament lost former world No. 1 Roger Federer, however, when the 16-time major tournament champion fell to Richard Gasquet.

Nadal needed 76 minutes to defeat Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-2 in this clay-court event. Nadal developed a virus Wednesday night and said he strongly considered withdrawing.

His match with Lopez was delayed for 20 minutes while Nadal was trying to make a decision, but he finally chose to play and eventually had little trouble advancing.

Nadal's No. 1 world ranking is on the line this week. He needs one more win in this tournament or else Djokovic could claim the No. 1 spot by capturing the event.

Djokovic, who has won six tournaments in six appearances this year, kept his streak going with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Stanislas Wawrinka. Gasquet outlasted Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4).

Federer was defeated in the second round of this tournament in 2010.

In other third-round matches Andy Murray defeated Potito Starace 6-2, 6-3, Robin Soderling ousted Nicolas Almagro 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 and Tomas Berdych defeated Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2.

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