Rome: World No.3 Roger Federer moved one step closer to his first title this season when he beat Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 7-6 (2) to advance to the semifinals of the Italian Open tennis.
Both player, facing off for the first time, held serve until Federer broke Janowicz's final service game of the first set here Friday, reports Xinhua.
The world 24-ranked Pole fought back in the second set and broke Federer early, but could not shut the door when leading by 5-4, hitting two double faults to be broken.
Federer then cruised in the ensuing tie-break to seal the win in 85 minutes. In the semi-finals, the Swiss will play against France's Benoit Paire.
Fifth seed Rafael Nadal held off fellow Spanish David Ferrer 6-4, 4-6 and 6-2 to set up a semi-final clash with Tomas Berdych. The latter ousted top-ranked Novak Djokovic 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.
In the women's draw, top seed Serena Williams swept past Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-2, 6-0. She is to meet qualifier Simona Halep of Romania who beat Jelena Jankovic 4-6, 6-0, 7-5.