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Top three seeds go through in Rome Masters

  • Story Highlights
  • Novak Djokovic powers into semifinals of Rome Masters at Foro Italico
  • Serbian needs to retain his title to remain world number three
  • Roger Federer to face Djokovic while Rafael Nadal also goes through
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(CNN) -- Defending champion Novak Djokovic reached the semifinals of the Rome Masters with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Juan Martin del Potro as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer also progressed in straight sets on Friday.

Djokovic powers a forehand during his easy victory over del Potro.

Djokovic powers a forehand during his easy victory over del Potro.

Djokovic has added pressure because he needs to retain the title to keep his world number three spot ahead of Andy Murray, despite the British star being knocked out in the second round of the claycourt tournament.

But Djokovic stepped up to the mark with a fine performance at the Foro Italico as he won in just over one and half hours.

The Serbian star has yet to drop a set in three matches in the tournament and will face world number two Federer in the last four.

Federer beat German qualifier Mischa Zverev 7-6 6-2 in the second quarterfinal of the day.

From the other half of the draw, Nadal joined them with a 6-3 6-3 win over fellow Spainiard Fernando Verdasco

It was his eighth win against no losses over Verdasco, but Nadal was made to work hard in a near two-hour match.

He will play 12th-seeded Fernando Gonzalez, who struggled past Argentine qualifier Juan Monaco 2-6 6-3 6-4 in the final quarterfinal.

Djokovic is the only player to take a set off Nadal on clay this year, losing to the Spaniard after a brave effort in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters.

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