Rome  -     Champion Rafael Nadal set up an Italian Open semi-final with Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday thanks to a 6-4 6-0 win over Fernando Verdasco.

A week after being beaten by the Greek upstart in the Madrid Open semis, the 32-year-old Nadal will be eager to prove that the loss to Tsitsipas was just a blip as he fine tunes his game ahead of this month’s French Open. The 20-year-old Greek progressed after Roger Federer pulled out with a right leg injury before their quarter-final encounter.

Nadal went 2-0 down before surviving three break points at 4-4 in the first set, but he pulled away by winning eight consecutive games to continue his hunt for a ninth title in Rome. Diego Schwartzman reached that last four with a 6-4 6-2 victory over Japanese sixth seed Kei Nishikori. He will face either Novak Djokovic or Juan Martin del Potro for a place in the final.

Meanwhile, Roger Federer and top-ranked Naomi Osaka withdrew before their quarterfinals because of injuries. Federer reported a right leg injury ahead of his match against Tsitsipas, while Osaka said her right hand was hurting before she was to play Kiki Bertens. Osaka also withdrew before a semifinal in Stuttgart, Germany, last month due to an abdominal injury. And she retired from her previous meeting with Bertens at last year’s WTA Finals with a leg injury. “I feel like the ab thing could have been helped, but this one I don’t think I could have helped it because I don’t know what caused it,” Osaka said. “I don’t know why I have it.”