Novak Djokovic unleashed on Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2, 6-1 on Thursday to advance into a fifth quarter-final at the Rome Masters.
The top seed spent 71 minutes on court, profitting from five breaks of serve to advance.
Djokovic, a five-time champion at the Foro Italico, won his 57th game at the venue against nine defeats.
Losing the first game was enough to set the world No. 1 off and running against his 48th-ranked victim – tipped as one of the new wave for Spain – who contributed 30 unforced errors..
“He started well and broke my serve in the first game. I made some errors, but I managed to break back right away and establish the control and consistency on the court,” Djokovic said.
“From the back of the court I was just a bit more solid than him. He made some unforced errors and double faults in key moments, which obviously helped me get that necessary break forward.
“I thought I played at least 20 or 30 per cent better, than against (Taylor) Fritz a few days ago.
“I’m on a good trajectory, hopefully tomorrow will be even better.”
The winner set up a high-profile quarter-final with Monte Carlo Champion and fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Italy’s Madrid finalist Matteo Berrettini 7-6(3), 6-2.
“My next match will be against a Top 10 player, it’s going to be a battle,” Djokovic said. I am obviously going to do my best to win that match.”
American Reilly Opelka took a surprise spot in the last eight, sending over a modest total of 18 aces as he overpowered Dubai champion Aslan Karatsev 7-6(6), 6-4 in 97 minutes.
Opelka has now won three straight matches after starting the week on a six-match losing streak.