18 May 2013

Berdych beats Djokovic in Rome, Sharapova withdraws

11:58 am on 18 May 2013

The Czech tennis player Tomas Berdych has beaten the world number one Novak Djokovic to reach the semi-finals of the Rome Masters.

Berdych tasted only his second victory in 15 clashes with Djokovic, coming from nowhere to stun the Serb 2-6 7-5 6-4 at the Foro Italico.

Frenchman Benoit Paire reached his first Masters Series semi-final with a 6-1 6-0 thrashing of Spain's Marcel Granollers, and Paire now faces the second seed Roger Federer after the Swiss overcame Poland's Jerzy Janowicz 6-4 7-6.

Berdych now faces Rafael Nadal, who eliminated fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 6-4 4-6 6-2.

Serena Williams continued her march towards another title by pulversising Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2 6-0 while her most fierce rival Maria Sharapova withdrew from her quarter-final with home favourite Sara Errani because of illness.

Former women's champion Jelena Jankovic was beaten by Romanian qualifier Simona Halep while Victoria Azarenka of Belarus beat Australia's Samantha Stosur, also in three sets.