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Djokovic Overcomes Kohlschreiber Test; Meets Ferrer In QFs

Rome, Italy

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Two-time Rome champion Novak Djokovic overcame a test from World No. 29 Philipp Kohlschreiber to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 in the Internazionali BNL d'Italia third round on Thursday evening.

The 30-year-old Kohlschreiber made an impressive start to the match as he raced to a 4-0 lead. The German had notched back-to-back upsets of Top 25 players Jerzy Janowicz and 16th seed Tommy Robredo to set up the meeting with Djokovic.

After the Serb conceded the opening set, he got back on track in the second and third, surrendering only three more games to close out the victory in 95 minutes.

“I was trying to spin the ball too much and the court wasn’t getting that necessary bounce that I was looking for," said Djokovic, "but then I started to be a little bit more aggressive and open up the court. It worked well."

Djokovic, an 18-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 champion, will face 2010 Rome finalist David Ferrer in the quarter-finals. The two have clashed 16 times, with Djokovic leading 11-5 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

"[Ferrer] has had an incredible career overall, but especially on clay," said Djokovic. "It’s going to be a big challenge and we’ll see where my game is."

This is Djokovic's first tournament since falling in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters semi-finals to Roger Federer. A right wrist injury, which afflicted him in Monte-Carlo, forced him out of last week's Mutua Madrid Open.

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