Roger Federer kept alive his pursuit of an elusive clay-court title with a routine 6-3, 6-3 win over sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych on Friday to reach the Italian Open semifinals.

Along with Monte Carlo, Rome is one of only two Masters series titles that the 17-time Grand Slam champion has never won.

Federer will next face either seven-time Rome champion Rafael Nadal or eigth-seeded Stan Wawrinka, who were playing in the night session at the Foro Italico.

Also, seventh-seeded David Ferrer beat David Goffin of Belgium 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 and will meet the winner of a match between top-ranked Novak Djokovic and fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori.

In women's action, second-seeded Simona Halep routed qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru 6-1, 6-0 in an all-Romanian matchup.