Italian Open: Novak Djokovic beats Filip Krajinovic and Rafa Nadal wins

Djokovic serves
Djokovic improved in the second set against Krajinovic

Novak Djokovic battled to a straight-sets win over Filip Krajinovic to reach the quarter-finals of the Italian Open for the 14th year in a row.

Djokovic saved five break points on his way to a 7-6 6-3 win over his fellow Serb in a match lasting over two hours.

Djokovic trailed 4-1 in the first-set tie break and needed five set points, before improving in the second set.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal cruised past Dusan Lajovic 6-1 6-3 to secure his quarter-final spot.

Djokovic, 33, is playing in his first tournament since being disqualified for accidentally hitting a line judge with a ball at the US Open.

The world number one will play Dominik Koepfer of Germany, who beat Italian Lorenzo Musetti 6-4 6-0, in the last eight.

Djokovic lost the 2019 final to Nadal, who remains on course for a 10th Italian Open title.

The Spaniard said: "I played at I think a very positive level of tennis. Of course it needs to keep improving. I need to keep working on a couple of things that are not coming automatically, but I can't ask for more.

"I can't complain at all. Much better than what I expected."

Nadal will face Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the last eight and has won all nine of their previous meetings.

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