This is really special.
The Djokovic Express rolled to its 37th straight victory in the Italian Open quarterfinals, dispatching Robin Soderling 6-3, 6-0.
Via the Los Angeles Times:
Djokovic downed Soderling in 76 minutes and closed out the match by winning the last 15 points to improve to 6-1 lifetime, including 2-0 on clay, against the Swedish slugger.
In the second set Soderling “went away” (as they euphemistically say in tennis) both literally and figuratively. Down 3-0, he took a bathroom break, only to come back and wind up in the hopper for the next three games.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal – who’s been Novak’s pigeon for their last three finals matches – flew past the big Croat Marin Cilic 6-1, 6-3 in 85 minutes. But he’s not “running scared” from Djokovic, according to Reuters:
“He’s playing well and is probably the favorite for every match this year,” Nadal told reporters in Rome.
“He beat me in Indian Wells, he beat me in Miami and he beat me in Madrid, but those finals with Djokovic are in the past. I’d love to play him in another final.”
Djokovic has won his past six tournaments, gatecrashing the traditional Nadal-Federer duopoly.
“He beat me three times. It can happen. I don’t know how many times I beat him before,” said Nadal, who has a 16-10 win-loss record against the 23-year-old. “Now he’s playing well, but before I played well against him. I cannot be nervous about Novak.”
But Nadal’s fans can be.