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Tennis: Djokovic ousts Ferrer to seal Rome Masters semi with Raonic

Number two seed Novak Djokovic set up a semi-final meeting with Canada's Milos Raonic at the Rome Masters after ousting Spain's David Ferrer 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 on Friday.

ROME: Number two seed Novak Djokovic set up a semi-final meeting with Canada's Milos Raonic at the Rome Masters after ousting Spain's David Ferrer 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 on Friday.

After dominating a hard-fought opening set, the Serbian was outplayed in the second and had to overcame a few wobbles on his way to wrapping up the match in 2 hours 31 minutes.

Djokovic, who admitted his dream is to finally win the French Open when it begins later this month, said Ferrer had put him through his paces.

"It's definitely the most physical match I've had on clay this year and I'm glad to overcome this challenge," said Djokovic, who missed the Madrid Open last week as he recovered from a wrist injury.

"Knowing I'm going to work for every point, and coming out as winner, gives me confidence and I'm really glad to win this match."

The pick of Friday's matches will be the last eight clash between British seventh seed Andy Murray and top seed Rafael Nadal of Spain.

They are due to play on central court from 2100 local time (1900 GMT).

Former Wimbledon champion Murray won one of his two Grand Slam titles on clay at the American Open, but having skipped two months of the season due to injury the Scot is the clear underdog against the world number one.

Djokovic added: "Andy has had his ups and downs, especially because of injury.

"But he's a two-time Grand Slam champion and Olympic champion so you still have to consider him one of best players in the world.

"Nadal is the favourite to win tonight, but if Andy is feeling good and striking the ball well, anything is possible."

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