Djokovic cruises into Rome quarters

Rome, May 16 (EFE).- Serbia's Novak Djokovic breezed into the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters on Thursday with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Djokovic's return of Dolgopolov's first serve was the difference, as the Ukrainian only managed to win 53 percent of those points en route to surrendering his serve on three occasions.

The Serbian world No. 1, meanwhile, staved off all three break points he faced and won 72 percent of his service points.

Djokovic will next take on Czech Tomas Berdych, a 7-5, 6-2 winner Thursday over South African Kevin Anderson.

The Serbian is seeking his third Rome Masters title, having previously won the event in 2008 and 2011.

In an upset on the men's side Thursday, Argentine Juan Martin del Potro - fresh off meeting Pope Francis 1, his countryman, at the Vatican - lost to France's Benoit Paire 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).

In a surprise result in the women's draw, fifth-seeded Na Li, the 2011 French Open champion, lost to Serbia's Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (7-2), 7-5.

The Rome event is one of the biggest clay-court tournaments on the ATP and WTA calendars and a key tune-up for the French Open, which starts on May 26.