Rafael Nadal has always been impressive on clay and it was no surprise when he cruised past American John Isner in the third round of the Rome Masters with a straight sets victory. The score read 6-4 and 6-4.
The Spaniard came up with some long rallies, which was finished off with his booming forehand or backhand. Such shots remind one of Nadal's dominance in the red surface over the years.
Nadal was happy with his performance as well and felt he played a fantastic game. "I'm more than happy, I think I played a fantastic match against very, very tough opponent," Sky Sports quoted Nadal as saying.
"Today I did (moved better) and it seems like now I'm having more good days than bad days. The past few months have been on and off."
Rome Masters has been a happy hunting competition, which Nadal has won an incredible 7 times in the past, reaching the finals on nine occasions.
Despite his amazing record on clay, Nadal cannot take it easy in his quarterfinals clash against Swiss star, Stan Wawrinka, who defeated the Spaniard in the finals of the Australian Open earlier last year.
Despite the Grand Slam loss, Nadal has proved to be a tough opponent with the Spaniard enjoying 12-1 win loss record.
Wawrinka set up a date with Nadal for the last eight clash after defeating Dominic Thiem, who fought it out against the Swiss in the first set, which went down to a tie-break, but the Swiss showed his class to win the set. The second set was an easier affair, which he won 6-4.
Nadal is expected to meet Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the competition and if things go according to plan, the Spaniard could meet world no.1, Novak Djokovic in the finals of the competition.
But, Djokovic has not been convincing in the competition so far as he has just managed to reach the quarter-finals of the competition defeating unseeded players such as Thomaz Cocchiarali Bellucci from Brazil and Nicolas Almagro from Spain.
Both these players stretched the game to three sets with Djokovic's experience helping him cross the finishing line.
The Serbian faces an in-form Japanese star, Kei Nishikori, who has cruised past his opponents in the competition to set up a mouth watering clash against Djokovic, who enjoys a 3-2 win loss record.
"You can notice the improvement in his game. He's very aggressive; one of the best double-handed backhands we have on the Tour. I need to start better than I did tonight, be consistent throughout the entire match and bring out my A-game, because that's the only way I can win that match." ATP's official website quoted Djokovic as saying.
Where to Watch Live
Novak Djokovic is expected to play Kei Nishikori at 4pm local time (7:30pm IST, 10 am ET, 3pm BST) and Rafael Nadal will face Stan Wawrinka at 9pm local time (12:30 am IST, 3pm ET and 8pm BST) with live Tv coverage in India on Star Sports 4.
Viewers in the US can watch it on Tennis Channel
UK viewers can watch it on Sky Sports 3.