Novak Djokovic moved into his first quarter-final of 2018 on Thursday when he defeated Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 7-5 at the Italian Open.
The four-time Rome champion is making his way back this year after a six-month injury absence before the Australian Open, which was followed by elbow surgery.
And the 30-year-old showed some of his old form as he got past Ramos-Vinolas to set up a rematch with Japan’s Kei Nishikori for a semi-final berth.
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The 11th-seeded Serb, who has reached eight of the last ten finals in Rome, beat Nishikori in the first round in Madrid last week before falling in the second to Britain’s Kyle Edmund.
Nishikori, ranked 24, needed just over an hour to see off Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-1, 6-2 at the Foro Italico.
Former world number one Djokovic has slipped six places to 18th after his second-round defeat in Madrid, his lowest ranking since October 2006.