ATP Rome Masters: World No 1 Novak Djokovic to face Tomas Berdych next
Novak Djokovic eased past Alexandr Dolgopolov in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals of the ATP Rome Masters.
Last Updated: 16/05/13 5:32pm
The world No 1, a Rome winner in 2008 and 2011, had to wait a while though before his latest match got underway because of stormy weather in the Italian capital.
But when he did, he had too much power and control for the 23rd-ranked Dolgopolov and brushed him aside in exactly an hour 6-1 6-4 on the Foro Italico clay.
Djokovic was back in his stride after his shock second-round defeat to Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov in Madrid last week and his pony-tailed opponent could not stay with the six-time Grand Slam winner.
The only danger Djokovic faced came while serving at 3-2 in the second set. He saved two break points - one with a big serve down the middle and the other with some crisp shot-making that forced Dolgopolov to net a backhand.
"That is exactly what I was looking for in my game," Djokovic told Sky Sports.
He also refused to dwell on his Madrid defeat to Dimitrov, when the crowd turned against him after he questioned several line calls.
"What happened on the court that night, I will forget about it."
The 25-year-old improved his clay-court record this season to 8-1 with the victory and will next face sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych after the Czech dispatched South African Kevin Anderson 7-5 6-2.
Berdych will have his work cut out against Djokovic having only beaten him once in 14 meetings, although that was in the Wimbledon semi-final in 2010.
Meanwhile, Frenchman Benoit Paire sent seventh seed Juan Martin Del Potro crashing out of the tournament with a straight sets win, 6-4 7-6 (3).