Djokovic and Nadal progress

Spaniard David Ferrer celebrates his 700th match win on the ATP World Tour in Rome

Spaniard David Ferrer celebrates his 700th match win on the ATP World Tour in Rome

Nadal and Djokovic faced each other the semi-finals of the Madrid Open last week which the former won in straight sets on the way to the title.

Rafael Nadal, enjoying his best season on clay in two years, will look to book his place in the last eight later when he meets American Jack Sock, seeded 13th.

Fognini, who failed once again to make it past the third round of his home tournament, had defeated British world No 1 Andy Murray on Tuesday evening to hinder the prospects of the three-time major victor repeating a deep run in Paris where he lost to Novak Djokovic a year ago.

Novak Djokovic must return on Saturday to finish the job in his Internazionali BNL d'Italia quarter-final against Juan Martin del Potro after rain forced an early end to play on Friday.

"I thought I played pretty well out there", said Isner, who is ranked 24th.

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"I've been doing my best to optimise my game to get it to the highest possible level at the moment".

The Swiss was broken just once across the two sets but could not make inroads into the powerful serve of his towering opponent, saving match points in vain late in the second before bowing out. I'm happy I reached the semi-finals in Madrid, which has been my best result this year. "It came at the right time, of course". All the players are looking to raise their game for Paris.

"I played a more aggressive game and I'm serving better".

Isner's quarterfinal opponent will be another big server, sixth-seed Marin Cilic, who eliminated ninth-seeded David Goffin of Belgium 6-3, 6-4.

The Austrian recovered from losing the first set to beat Querrey 3-6 6-3 7-6 (9-7), saving three match points before finally coming out on top in a thrilling tie-break.

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In the women s tournament, Venus Williams overcame determined Briton Johanna Konta to win their third-round clash 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

"It s so different when you re talking about it or when you re playing it", she said.

The 20-year-old will now take on fifth seed Milos Raonic, a 6-3, 6-2 victor against the 12th seeded Tomas Berdych.

Australian Daria Gavrilova beat former finalist and 10th seed Madison Keys 2-6, 7-5, 7-5, while Dutch 15th seed Kiki Bertens put out Monica Niculescu of Romania 2-6, 6-2, 6-1.

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