Roger Federer won two matches at the Italian Open on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

ROME – World number three Roger Federer saved two match points to advance past Croatian Borna Coric into the quarter-finals of the Italian Open on Thursday.

Federer came through 2-6 6-4 7-6 (9/7) against 13th seed Coric, after earlier beating Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-4 6-3 in the second round to make up time after rain wiped out play on Wednesday.

Federer, a four-time finalist in Rome, next meets either Greek eighth-seed Stefanos Tsitsipas or Italian Fabio Fognini, seeded 10th, for a place in the semi-finals.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal lost just two games in two matches before booking his place in the quarter-finals of the Italian Open on Thursday.

The eight-time Rome champion beat Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1 6-0 in the third round, after earlier crushing France’s Jeremy Chardy 6-0 6-1 in the second round, playing two matches after Wednesday’s rain washout in Rome.

Nadal next plays fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco who defeated 11th-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov 7-5 3-6 6-3. 

The 32-year-old Nadal is bidding for his first clay-court title this season before chasing a 12th French Open crown at Roland Garros starting on May 26.

AFP