Reigning champion Novak Djokovic was knocked out of the Rome tournament in the quarterfinals by Denmark’s Holger Rune. The Serb, who returned to the top of the world rankings recently and in the round of 16 with a victory over Cameron Nouri became the first tennis player to qualify 17 times for the quarterfinals of the same tournament, surrendered 6:2, 4:6, 6:2 after two hours and 19 minutes.
Rona, ranked seventh in the world, broke Djokovic in the first game of the match and added another break on the way to an easy victory in the first set, but the Serbian, as usual, switched gears in the second set and equalized. However, the match was halted for a long time due to falling rain, the Serbian seemed to lose focus, was broken twice in his first two service games in the deciding set and soon lost the entire match and was eliminated from the tournament.
The 20-year-old Rona will compete in the semi-finals against Kasper Rode, ranked fourth in the world, who beat the Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo in two sets with the result 6:7 (5), 4:6. This is Rudd’s second consecutive qualification for the semifinals in Rome, last year he was knocked out by Djokovic and this year he will try to be the one to knock out the one who beat Djokovic. Rod felt comfortable on the clay against Cerundolo and although he was broken with a 2:4 lead in the first set, he got into trouble and needed a tiebreaker to go up to 0:1 in the sets, in the second set he recovered from a quick break to erase a 2:0 deficit and immediately equalize to 2:2, he broke in the ninth game and celebrated the victory after two hours and six minutes.