Top seed Djokovic loses in quarterfinals of Swiatek Italian Open

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Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina is through to the Italian Open semi-finals after a win over top seed Iga Swiatek, who retired with an injury the third set of their quarter-final clash.

Seventh-ranked Holger Rune beat Novak Djokovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in a rain-curtailed quarter-final at the Italian Open, where women's top seed Inga Swiatek retired on Wednesday.

Serbian star Djokovic, who will move up to world number two behind Carlos Alcaraz on Monday, admitted he was put off by the heavy, wet conditions after a week of rain in normally sunny Rome.

“It's probably the coldest, wettest tournament I've played here in Rome,” said the 22-time Grand Slam winner.

“I don't remember raining so many days in a row. In these conditions, it is very difficult to get the ball off him.

Djokovic said of Rooney, “He's a very talented, dynamic player – he was very good to me for most of the match.”

With the defense of her French Open title underway this month, Swiatek retired in the third set of her quarterfinal against Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina.

Poland's Swiatek roared in the first set, but after receiving treatment she hit a right-footed Wimbledon champion Rybakina to win 2-6, 7-6 (7/3), 2-2 and seal a semifinal spot. Stopped due to injury. ,

The win came just under two and a half hours in drizzling rain and the chill of the evening as Swiatek's 14-match Rome win streak came to an end.

Rybakina finished with 32 winners and 26 unforced errors, in a match where Swiatek led by a set and 4–2.

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“It's never good to win like that,” said Rybakina. “I hope it's nothing too serious for Inga.

“I am happy to win, every match I play on clay gives me confidence,” she added. “I didn't start well but I found my rhythm in the second set.”

Rybakina will next face former Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko, who beat Spain's Paula Badosa 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

Denmark's Rooney will face off against Kasper Ruud in the semi-finals as the fourth seed from Norway beat Francisco Cerundolo 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.

Argentina's Cerundolo committed nearly 50 unforced errors and could not prevent 2022 Roland Garros finalist Ruud from reaching his third consecutive Rome semis.

“I'm back in Rome and feeling great,” Rudd said. “I've had success in Italy.

“Maybe it's something in the food, there are many reasons to be inspired.

“It's great to be back in the semi-finals, I hope it's going to be fun.”

Six-time champion Djokovic struggled with an unspecified injury in the match as he lost for the second time to the rising 20-year-old Dane, who bested him to win the Masters 1000 at Paris Bercy last November.

The latest contest between the pair was marred by brawls with the chair umpire by both players – Djokovic over a time warning and Rooney over a second set line call.

The game had to be stopped for more than an hour due to rain. Shortly after the start of the match, Djokovic requested extra towels to pad his lower back on the bench during most of the changeovers.

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He has also suffered from a right elbow problem in recent weeks, which has caused him to miss the Madrid event and put his pre-Roland Garros preparations behind schedule.

She was treated by the trainer and tournament doctor after the third game of the second set and given painkillers before play.

Djokovic's exit – combined with that of Alcaraz this week – left the 's field wide open at the Foro Italico.

– Really big win –

Between them, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have won 16 of the last 18 editions here; The last time no pair played in the Rome final was in 2004.

Rooney is the sixth player to beat Djokovic in Rome.

“It's really a big win for me,” Roone said. “Every match against Novak is a big challenge. He is one of the greatest players to ever play the game.”

“I have to stay humble, I still have a lot to achieve. I'm a big fighter on the court, I leave everything out there. I had to fight hard and play my tennis,” he said. “I'm a huge fan of Novak; he's a huge inspiration. He puts a lot of pressure on you — I had to be brave.”

Djokovic was playing in his 17th consecutive quarter-final in Rome and lost 13-4.

Tomas Berdych was the last player to beat him in the last eight in Rome in 2013. His Rome record fell to 67–11 as his bid for a seventh title ended in only his fourth loss with 35 unforced errors after two hours, 18 minutes. Of the

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