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Djokovic back in his stride

Rome, May 16, 2013, Reuters: 1:27 IST
Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return to Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine during their men's singles match at the Rome Masters tennis tournament May 16, 2013. REUTERS
World number one Novak Djokovic made short work of Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov to reach the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters on Thursday with a 6-1, 6-4 win.

Djokovic, back in his stride after his shock second-round defeat to Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in Madrid last week, had too much power and control for the 23rd-ranked Dolgopolov and brushed him aside in exactly an hour after the day's play had been briefly delayed by rain.

The pony-tailed Dolgopolov, wearing a custard-yellow shirt, missed two chances to break Djokovic in the sixth game of the second set and surrendered the final game to 15 when the Serbian hit a forehand winner.

"That is exactly what I was looking for in my game," Djokovic told Sky television. He refused to dwell on his Madrid defeat, when the crowd turned against him after he questioned several line calls. "What happened on the court that night, I will forget about it," said Djokovic, who now faces Tomas Berdych after the Czech sixth seed defeated South African Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-2.

On Wednesday, Jerzy Janowicz ripped off his shirt after stunning Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Juan Martin del Potro visited the Pope and Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka pulled out through injury.

Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova sailed through their second round matches with embarrassingly one-sided wins. Nadal began his quest for his seventh ATP title of the season by demolishing local hope Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-3, winning 74 percent of his service points and breaking his 25th-ranked opponent five times.

In the women's singles, second seed Sharapova never faced a break point in her 6-2, 6-2 win over Garbine Muguruza of Spain while China's Li Na went through with a 6-3, 6-1 win over compatriot Zheng Jie.

Sania-Bethanie progress

Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands scored a straight set win over Francesca Schiavone and Samantha Stosur to move to the quarterfinals. The sixth seeded Indo-American pair registered a 6-4, 6-3 win over the Italian-Australian combination in one hour and 13 minutes in the second round of the prestigious clay court tournament.

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