ROME – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked male tennis player, beat Spaniard Rafael Nadal 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) on Friday to advance to the semi-finals of the Rome Masters tournament, where he will face Japan’s Kei Nishikori on Saturday evening.

Djokovic chalked up his 11th win in the last 12 encounters with Nadal and now has a 26-23 head-to-head record against him.

The Serbian won after two and a half hours of play in what may have been his best match this year.

The prize money in Rome is EUR 2.4 million.