Part of Djokovic’s frustration undoubtedly was caused by his failure to convert his break point chances while Koepfer capitalized on all four of the opportunities he had. Djokovic had 21 break point opportunities — 15 of which Koepfer fought off.
Next up for the top-seeded Djokovic is a semifinals meeting against Casper Ruud of Norway. Ruud defeated fourth-seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in a three-hour match.
Ruud got the win despite Berrettini bettering him in many statistical categories on the day. Berrettini led in aces (12-4), had fewer double faults and had a greater percentage of points won on his first serve (77 percent to 75 percent).
As for Nadal, the second-seeded Spaniard’s bid for a 10th title in the Italian capital ended with a stunning 6-2, 7-5 loss to No. 8 seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina. Schwartzman had been 0-9 in his career against Nadal, losing 22 of their 24 sets.
“It was crazy. Tennis is crazy. Our performance is always crazy,” Schwartzman said afterward. “The past three weeks were really bad for me. Today I played my best tennis.”
Schwartzman will face 12th-seeded Canadian Denis Shapovalov, who outlasted No. 15 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, for his 100th career tour-level win.
“Grigor’s a player I’ve looked up to from juniors,” Shapovalov said. “I really love the way he plays. He’s beaten me twice before, so it’s really nice to get the win and it’s a huge step for my career.”
–Field Level Media